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Dreading today and wondering how you’ll make it through without taking a drink – or ten? 

Well, your worries are probably justified, as the holidays are traditionally times of excess, and for those new to recovery, the temptations of these high-risk days can be more than enough to push you over the edge.

But you don’t have to relapse and since you know in advance of the temptation that’s coming you’re at least able to plan for the dangers to maximize your odds of success!

7 Tips for Staying Sober over the Holidays...

So if you’re worried about how you’ll make it through this day, here are 7 easy to implement ideas to maximize your chances of maintaining all the gains and good things that go along with your continued recovery.

Start a new tradition this year

Tradition is nice, but if your traditional holiday dinners have been booze soaked affairs – maybe you’d be best skipping the family meal and starting a new tradition this year – doing something meaningful and sober with a few of those closest to you.

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Volunteer

Similar to starting a new holiday tradition, sometimes the best way to avoid relapse is simply by avoiding the temptation that always accompanies holiday social gatherings. If you’re worried about staying sober, then do good as you minimize your risk by finding a worthy cause to donate your time to during these dangerous days and nights.

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Connect with your support group

Connecting with those that keep you sober before venturing into high risk situations is a great way to maintain your resolve to stay sober. Drop by a meeting before that holiday party – and if you feel like you need it, stop by for another one on the way home as well.

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Think about what you’ll drink

If you’re going to a Thanksgiving dinner and you know there will only be wine on the table you’ll be in a tough and tempting spot unless you’ve planned in advance to ensure that you’ve got what you really want to drink (juice or soda, for example) at the ready. If you’re not sure there will be non alcoholic options available, bring your own with you.

At parties, it’s helpful to always have a glass of your non-alcoholic drink of choice on hand, so that no one will be tempted to fill you up or bring you a drink you’ll have a hard time turning down.

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Don’t let yourself get too tired or hungry or stressed

The holidays can get pretty frenzied and it’s too easy to let yourself get stressed and tired out and to run around all day without taking the time to eat or exercise. You know that as soon as you get tired and frazzled and as soon as your blood sugar crashes you’re not as able to make smart decisions, so don’t put yourself at risk – especially not on high risk days. Take care of yourself first and everything else will fall into place. And if family dinners are always stressful affairs, then remember, that you don’t have to go...

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Don’t be afraid to leave or to skip the whole thing entirely

At the end of the day, no holiday obligation is worth relapse. If it’s becoming too much or if you’re not sure you can handle it – then don’t test yourself, get out of the situation and into somewhere safe.

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Get some help from friends and family

Going to a party and not sure if you can handle it – take a sober buddy with you who’s got your back! Your good friends and close family want only what’s best for you and if you need help, they’re happy to give it.

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Page last updated Nov 27, 2013

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