If you’re in recovery, celebrating a sober New Year’s can seem like an imposing task, especially in early recovery. During addiction, holidays, especially ones that encourage drinking, typically involve parties and intoxication. This can make it hard to find ways to have a fun, sober New Year’s. Luckily, many Americans are in active recovery, so there are plenty of ways to plan an idea for a sober New Year’s Eve.
When you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, holiday celebrations are probably synonymous with drugs and alcohol. The holidays, especially Thanksgiving and New Year’s, are notorious for binge drinking and overdoses. New Year’s is also the second deadliest day to drive, as impaired driving is common. The holidays can also be hard if you have strained relationships with friends, family members, or loved ones. If you need extra support during the holidays, Right Step Hill Country has a Texas addiction treatment center that can help you continue recovery. Call 1.844.675.1628 for more information.
Holidays and Recovery
The holidays can increase your risk of relapsing, as triggers are nearly everywhere. Addiction is a chronic and incurable condition, meaning that regardless of how long you’ve maintained sobriety and abstinence, you can still deal with cravings. The holidays can make it hard to avoid social outings and events that don’t include alcohol. If you had a difficult upbringing, holidays could also hold painful memories.
Other times, the holidays can make it difficult to celebrate without risking your sobriety. Certain holidays, like New Year’s, are known for binge drinking. In fact, more than 40% of people binge drink on New Year’s, making it the most popular holiday for excessive alcohol consumption.
When you are new to recovery, it can feel like you have to isolate yourself from others and avoid engaging in holiday celebrations. Often, bars are open late, and it’s difficult to find friends or loved ones who also want to avoid alcohol and drugs. But sobriety doesn’t mean you can’t find an enjoyable idea for a sober New Year’s Eve.
How to Have a Fun Sober New Year’s
Sobriety and recovery don’t mean you can’t find an idea for a sober New Year’s Eve. Some great ideas for a sober New Year’s celebration can include:
- Hosting a board game party – Invite friends, family members, and loved ones over to your house for some board game fun. Board games are a great way to bring people together while providing entertainment without drinking or drugs.
- Having a mocktail party – Mocktails, or cocktails that don’t contain alcohol, are a great way to enjoy drinks without the risk of relapse. Invite friends over for a mocktail party and show off your mixology skills with delicious non-alcoholic beverages.
- Hosting a movie night – Invite your friends over for a movie night. Movies can be especially fun if you have themed snacks or drinks that go along with the film. You can also make it into a group event by discussing the film after it’s over.
- Attending a sober celebration – Another great way to celebrate a sober New Year’s is to connect with your local AA, NA, or SMART Recovery chapter. Many groups host marathon meetings and sober celebrations during major holidays.
- Taking a vacation – A great way to get away from triggers and temptations is to take a vacation. If you’re in early recovery, it might be best to find a sober environment for your holiday getaway. There are many resources available that provide information about sober vacations, retreats, and other holiday events.
In recovery, having extra free time is a double-edged sword. While having time off during the holidays can help you relax, it can also intensify cravings. Boredom is frequently a dangerous trigger during recovery.
Planning Ahead Is Critical
Planning a sober New Year’s can also seem stressful but planning ahead can ensure that it is fun. Spending time with sober friends and family could be the key to starting the year on track. If you host a gathering at your home, you can maintain control to ensure that alcohol doesn’t appear.
If you go out for New Year’s, make sure you have access to your own transportation or ride-sharing just in case you need to leave early.
Reach out for Help from Right Sep Hill Country Today
When you’re in recovery, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid the holidays. While having an exciting and festive sober New Year’s may seem difficult, the truth is there are plenty of ways to have fun while maintaining your sobriety.
At Right Step Hill Country, we’re dedicated to helping individuals and families find the sobriety they need during the holidays and beyond. Our residential treatment program offers comprehensive care and support that allows you to work through challenges while learning how to live a substance-free life. If the holidays are making it hard to handle cravings, or if you’re struggling with your sobriety, contact us today at 1.844.675.1628.