Christmas is a time for plenty of festivities such as spending time with loved ones, giving and receiving gifts and having a lovely Christmas dinner. However, for those in recovery, it could be a particularly challenging time to enjoy the festive period whilst remaining sober.
This guide looks at how you can enjoy Christmas without alcohol and how you can enjoy a sober Christmas:
- Make A Plan
By planning the Christmas period, you can organise yourself to spend time with those that will keep you sober and know what events may make you tempted to drink alcohol. You can then make plans around these to stay sober. It is also important to make plans for the days and weeks after Christmas and into the new year so that you are not tempted to start drinking after Christmas.
- Create New Traditions
Over Christmas, a lot of people partake in social activities where drinking plays a central role. You should find sober social activities that you would enjoy doing without drinking. For example, on Christmas Eve, try playing board games with your friends and family, instead of going to the bar or pub.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
If you are invited to go to events or out with people who may encourage your drinking, it is important to stay disciplined and say no. If you do attend events and you start to feel tempted to drink alcohol, make an exit plan. This could include driving yourself to the event rather than having a lift or using public transport or saying to the host that you may have to leave early.
- Avoid Food That May Contain Alcohol
This can include food such as Christmas Pudding, Christmas Cake, or food that may have traces of alcohol.
- Keep a Dry House
Before the Christmas period, make sure your house is completely dry from alcohol. By not having any alcohol in your house, you are less tempted to have a drink over the festive period.
- Plan for the Office Christmas Party
If you are unsure about the workplace Christmas Party as you may feel tempted to start drinking, then it might be easier to not go at all. However, if you do plan on attending then find out beforehand who is not planning on drinking and stay with them so you are not tempted to drink. Furthermore, if you start to feel tempted to drink, make an exit plan similar to those in tip #3.
- Received Alcohol as a Christmas Present?
If you receive alcohol as a Christmas present from someone, then either gift it to a friend or family member or throw the alcohol away. You may receive it because the sender may not realise that you are trying to cut alcohol from your life, so don’t take the gesture as insensitive and give the gift to someone else.
- Approach the Festive Period With a Positive Attitude to Stay Sober
By having a positive attitude towards the festive period and believing that you are going to enjoy a sober Christmas then you are more likely to remain sober. Christmas is a time of spending time with loved ones, enjoying good food and partaking in other traditional festive activities. There is plenty to do to keep your mind preoccupied.
- Spending Time With Family Members Who Drink
If you are spending time with friends and family members who drink heavily over the festive period, then plan to spend a limited amount of time with those and take non-alcoholic beverages with you. It can be difficult and awkward during the festive season as they may not understand why you are not drinking alcohol, but it is key to remember that you are in control over your own alcohol consumption and that you do not have to drink with them.
- Continue to Stay in Contact with Support Networks
Remember that during the festive period, many support groups continue to operate. At Alcohol Home Treatment, we offer an effective home alcohol detox programme and utilise the Sinclair Method throughout Christmas and the New Year. If you do feel like you need support, get in touch with us where we will provide you with sufficient support to ensure you can stay sober at Christmas.
We would like to wish you a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.