10 Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and while it is the most wonderful time of the year between seeing family and enjoying traditions, it can also be the most stressful time of year navigating extra stress and possible triggers. That’s why it is important to be ready and know these 10 tips for staying sober during the holidays.

Prepare Yourself

One of the best tips for staying sober during the holidays is to prepare yourself. The holidays are notorious for extra indulging in holiday food and sweets, as well as all the extra spending on gifts, decor, food, traveling, and more. While it can be enjoyable, it is also important to remember that all these things can bring about a lot of added stress.

The feeling of getting off-track from your diet and exercise regimen, the feeling you get looking at a smaller bank account balance, and the stressful rat race of getting to the airport on time are all things that can spark a potential relapse. Get ready to deal with these feelings and prepare yourself accordingly.

Have Your Speech Ready

Chances are you will be asked if you would like a glass of wine, to participate in shots, or to go out to a bar with all the cousins for a night out once you get into town. Be ready with a response and keep it positive, whether you want them to know you’re sober now or if you’re not ready to share your recovery process just yet. Suggestions include:

  • I am sober now and I feel a million times better. I won’t be drinking with you guys, but have a great time!
  • No thank you, I will stick with water and soda tonight. My hangovers are worse now than ever!
  • I’m on medication that doesn’t allow me to drink.

Be Ready to Navigate Holiday Parties

Once you have your speech ready, be ready to navigate all the gatherings you’ll be attending — or not attending. Be picky about which ones you want to attend, and make sure you have an exit strategy in place. You can also bring your own drinks and food if you don’t want to be tempted by what is already there. If you’re not ready to go to any holiday parties, that’s okay too. Put your sobriety first and do what is best for you.

Keep Putting Self Care First

This can be hard for anybody during the holiday season, but make sure you’re keeping your stress levels low and are doing what makes you happy. Make sure you’re never too hungry, too angry, too alone, or too tired this holiday season.


The best way to relieve your body of stress and anxiety to get some exercise. It’s a natural endorphin high, which helps you manage all the negatives that come along with the holiday season. Go for a walk, hike, run, or do some yoga to clear your mind as often as possible.

Remember Your Triggers

If you are traveling back to your hometown this weekend, make sure you do not go back to old spots or see old friends that could possibly trigger you. Stick with your original intent — spending the holidays with your family — and don’t feel pressured to do anything you do not want to do. Your priority is your recovery, and the power of “no” is truly just that — powerful.

Lean On Your Support

Make sure you are checking in often with your sober support, whether it is a sober coach, a sober friend or going to meetings. If you are going out of town, find meetings that are held in the local area just in case you need one. Bring along your sober support to holiday parties if possible, and do the same for someone else.

Be of Service

One of the best tips for staying sober during the holidays is to be of service to others. This can include offering to clean up the dishes after dinner, to be the one to dress up as Santa Claus, babysit, or even volunteering for the less fortunate. Staying busy by offering your services can keep you distracted and help you get through the holidays while making you feel good in the process.

Enjoy It

You are sober now and are able to spend the holidays with your family. That is more than you can say before when you were in the throes of addiction. Chances are, it took a lot of time and effort to get where you are now and to repair the relationships you have. That said, even though the holidays are stressful, make sure you take time to enjoy them.

About NuLife Recovery Center

Addiction can tear families apart, making the holidays a dreaded time of year for those families suffering from addiction. Luckily, addiction is a treatable condition and family relationships can be repaired. It is possible to enjoy the holidays again after addiction treatment, and it all starts by getting help.

NuLife Recovery Treatment Center is nestled on 14 beautiful acres surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountains. Our resort-like setting allows for your total comfort so that you can concentrate on reestablishing your health — and your life — free of drugs or alcohol. We have developed the most effective treatment program in the industry, one that Engages, Inspires and Empowers you, backed by evidence-based treatment and holistic therapies that treat the mind, body, and spirit, in a complete 360-degree manner.

Research has validated the effectiveness of evidence-based therapy models; CBT, DBT, MI, and EMDR to name a few. But if they are not part of an organized treatment system purposely designed to facilitate long-term recovery, they can have little effect, if any, on helping you overcome your addiction and addressing any co-occurring disorders that you may also have.

That’s why NuLife’s Clinical Team developed the effective 360-degree treatment method. This individualized method wraps you in care and compassion while Engaging, Inspiring and Empowering during each measurable step of your treatment. The 360-degree method treats the whole person, mind, body, and spirit, utilizing Evidence-Based Mental Health Therapies, Experiential Therapies, and Holistic therapies. When combined into the 360-degree method are a powerful tool that will help you achieve lasting recovery.

For more information, visit nuliferecovery.com

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