New Milford Substance Abuse Prevention Council

Information, articles & videos available for teens and their families

How to Maintain Sobriety During The Holidays

Anxious about temptations during the holidays? This article provides helpful hints on ways to remain sober during this season!



Photo via Pixabay by Jill111

The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but for a person who is coping with sobriety, they can bring a slew of negative emotions and situations that are hard to get away from. Knowing your limits and setting realistic expectations can be helpful, however, and it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Getting through this time might be tricky, but with some preparation you’ll be able to deal with it in a healthy way and come out on the other side all the stronger for it.

Here are some tips on getting through the holidays while staying sober.

Limit contact with certain people

Everyone knows that the holidays are a time to be with family, but no family gets along all the time. If you know you’ll be spending time with individuals who are best taken in small doses, limit your time with them and don’t engage in conversation that you know won’t have a peaceful resolution. Politics–especially at the moment–are a tricky topic to navigate without getting emotions involved, so steer clear and spend time with your adorable nephew instead.

Speak up when traveling

Traveling can be stressful, especially on airplanes where you’re forced to sit next to someone you don’t know. If possible, travel with a friend or loved one; if you have to go alone, and your seatmate is a drinker, politely ask the flight attendant to help you switch seats. If that isn’t possible, put your headphones on or read a book and tune out your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel you need to move; most airlines are very accommodating.

Plan your day

If you’re staying overnight or out of town over the holidays, plan some activities to do while you’re there so you won’t get stuck sitting in the house. Keeping your mind and body busy will help you avoid boredom, negative thoughts, and long conversations with an infuriating family member. Plan a sledding trip, shopping, a trip to the movie theater, a game night, or a cookie decorating afternoon to fill the hours.

Make your own holiday

If you aren’t planning to see your family or don’t have any close by, make your own holiday by creating plans with friends or group members. If you don’t feel good about being alone during this time, it will be enormously helpful to have plans, even if it’s just to see a movie or go out to eat.

Bring your own drinks

If you’re going to be somewhere with a lot of alcohol, bring your own bottles of water, juice, or soda. Practice what you’ll say to someone who asks you if you want a drink (or something stronger) and build up your confidence around it so you’ll be able to stay strong.

Reach out

When traveling, don’t hesitate to reach out to your sponsor, a trusted friend, or a local group session when you start to feel a craving or stress. Being tempted is natural, especially during the holidays. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean you will have a relapse. Let someone know how you feel and ask for help if you need it.

Updated: December 13, 2016 — 3:29 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

New Milford Substance Abuse Council; 2015 Frontier Theme