Halloween has candy, Thanksgiving has food and Christmas has presents, but New Year’s Eve is usually associated with partying. More specifically, it’s known to be the biggest holiday for drinking. In 2011, Time magazine noted that it was the “booziest” holiday of the year.
If you’re in recovery for alcohol or drug abuse, you may be nervous about the upcoming celebration to send out the old year and ring in the new one. It can be stressful to navigate a holiday where in the past you have always had a drink in your hand.
We are here to help at Legacy Freedom. We’re offer the most comprehensive Raleigh NC alcohol rehab and drug addiction treatment center. We tackle addiction with a holistic approach that takes into account the needs of the individual. Read on to learn more about how to avoid relapse during the holiday season.
Sobriety Action Plan For New Year's Eve
One way to be successful in recovery is to plan ahead. You don’t have to go into the holiday season alone and without a focus. Creating a sobriety action plan can help you maintain your recovery so that you can start the new year sober and on track. Let’s look at a few ways to manage the holiday.
First, remember that traditions can change. You don’t have to go to the big booze fest you attend every year. You can start a new tradition that doesn’t revolve around drinking all night and waking up feeling like death warmed over. Who wants to start a new year in that state, anyway? Skip the parties where you’ll feel the most temptation and start a different New Year’s tradition.
If you feel you have to go to a party because of work or family obligations, take a sober friend to be your support. It can be easier to say no to the offer of a beer or glass of champagne if you have someone else with you that isn’t drinking.
Be ready with reasons why you aren’t drinking if there will be people in attendance who don’t know that you’re in recovery. If you don’t want to share that you have given up alcohol, then you can try a couple of these:
- I’m getting a head start on my New Year’s resolutions, so no alcohol for me!
- I’m the designated driver. Let me know if you need a ride.
- I’m not in the mood tonight, but thanks for the offer.
- I’m trying to avoid the hangover in the morning. I want to start my new year feeling good!
Just because you’re not drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t have fun drinks. If you are going to a party at a home, bring your own ingredients to make non-alcoholic drinks. It’ll keep you busy and give you something just as festive to sip on, but you won’t feel the bad effects the next morning. If you’re at a bar or restaurant, ask for a Shirley Temple, a “mocktail” or a non-alcoholic beer. Bring a bottle of sparkling water or cider to toast the New Year at midnight.
Keep in mind, though, that for some people drinking something similar to an alcoholic drink, even if it doesn’t have alcohol in it, may be a trigger. If you feel it will make the urge stronger, then stick with something that won’t, such as water or a soda.
Don’t forget that you can leave at any time. You are not obligated to stay the whole night. If you start to feel tempted, tell the hosts that you are going to head out early. If you think you might want to leave early ahead of time, let the host know beforehand so it won’t be abrupt and you won’t be asked why.
Rely on your support group or mentor, if you have one. Ask for advice from people who have gone through the holidays each year without compromising their sobriety. Learning how others manage it can help you figure out the best plan of action for you.
Take an assessment of your state of mind before the holiday. Many people see New Year’s as the end of the stress and hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It can be a time to relax and have fun without having to worry. If you felt stressed in the last months of the year, plan to find a new way to relieve it. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you will choose alcohol or drugs in order to send off the holiday season. Pick a healthy alternative such as a massage or spa day, or hit the gym to burn off that energy.
Make a list of everything you accomplished during the year, including the things you have done as a sober person that you may not have done if you were still drinking or doing drugs. It can be a reminder of all of you have gained by getting sober and help reinforce the idea that having a drink for the holidays is not worth compromising your successes.
Plan to give yourself a reward for making it through the holidays and into the new year. Treat yourself to something you didn’t get for Christmas, go shopping for a new outfit, or plan a trip.
If something happens and you do drink, don’t feel as if you have completely relapsed. Sometimes things happen and you may get the wrong drink, or you may decide that you can handle a sip of champagne. As long as you recognize what you did as a slip up, and stop before you drink it all and ask for another, you shouldn’t beat yourself up for it. Take the time to call your mentor or the facility where you received treatment to discuss your options. Recovery is an ongoing process. No one is perfect, so mistakes will be made. As long as you recognize it, learn from it and move on, you can go into the new year with your sobriety intact.
Affordable Raleigh NC Alcohol Rehab and Drug Treatment | Legacy Freedom
Is your family troubled because of a loved one’s substance abuse problem? Call Legacy Freedom. We can help you get the support you need. An admissions counselor is waiting to talk with you about substance abuse. We offer customized treatment plans that meet your recovery needs. The programs for drug rehab that benefit you may not work for someone else. Our treatment options include alternative therapies, like aromatherapy, that other places don’t offer. You won’t find a more comprehensive Raleigh NC alcohol rehab center. Call us today to learn more.