How to Plan for a Safe End of the Year
When you’re in recovery, no holiday challenges your sobriety quite like New Year’s Eve. The struggle is real, and the temptations are plenty. However, there are ways to resist them. In this article, we will give you tips to help you stay sober through the end of the year and beyond.
1. Find a Sober Buddy
Don’t shoulder the burden all alone. It’s easier to combat temptation when you’ve got someone there fighting it alongside you.
Ask a close friend or family member if they wouldn’t mind being sober with you this year. Not only will you feel less alone in your struggle, but your companion will also hold you accountable throughout the evening.
2. Know Where You’re Going
While in past years you may have aimlessly hopped from party to party, you should avoid doing that this year. Instead, you need to plan out what you’ll be doing on New Year’s Eve and stick to the plan. Otherwise, you could wind up somewhere you didn’t want to be doing something you didn’t want to do.
If you’re not sure what to plan, here are some fun ideas:
- See a movie
- Attend a concert
- Go ice skating
- See a fireworks show
For more ideas, check local event calendars for sober events.
3. Remind Yourself You’re Not Missing Anything
No matter what popular culture tells you, New Year’s Eve isn’t all about drinking and going off the deep end. While it may look like a lot of fun from afar, you need to remember how much it damaged you in the past.
One practical way to combat feelings of missing out is by finding an object to remind yourself of your past life as an addict. It could be a photograph of what you used to be like or a letter you received from a concerned friend or relative. Whatever it is, carry it with you and pull it out when you feel tempted to give in.
4. Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself
Don’t approach New Year’s Eve with a posture of fear. If you do, you will only set yourself up for failure. There is a chance you will slip up and give into temptation. But you can’t let the possibility of that happening paralyze you and take away your joy.
Be prepared to forgive yourself if you do fail. The worst thing you could do is let one slip-up lead to a complete relapse. Remember that recovery is just as much about rebounding from setbacks as it is about avoiding them. As long as you approach every challenge confidently, knowing that you can overcome any failure, you will be fine.
5. Prepare for Difficult Situations
If you are going to a party where there will be alcohol, then you should have a prepare for if things get tough. Know how you will respond if someone asks you if you want to drink. Practice your response in the days leading up to the event so you’ll be ready.
You should also have an escape plan in case the party begins to overwhelm you. It’s a good idea to make these preparations with a trusted friend who will bail you out if they see you struggling.
By preparing for problematic situations in advance, you will make the evening a lot less stressful for yourself. And, most importantly, you will stay sober.
6. Attend a Support Group
Many support groups meet on New Year’s Eve. Some even meet at midnight. Although it may not sound like the most fun way to spend the holiday, you can’t go wrong attending one of these groups to combat temptation.
Besides, many of these meetings are quite enjoyable. They provide a laid-back atmosphere for people with similar struggles to come together and enjoy ringing in the new year in a healthy way.
7. Give Your Sobriety a Purpose
Recovering from an addiction can feel like a burdensome process–especially on New Year’s Eve–but it doesn’t have to! You can turn that burden into a blessing for others by using your sobriety to benefit them.
Offer to be the designated driver for your drinking friends. You will be a lot less likely to drink when you know that your friends are counting on you to stay sober. Just make sure you know you’re capable of keeping that promise before you make it.
You could also offer to watch your friends’ kids or their pets while they’re out partying. Knowing you’re performing a valuable service while sober will help you feel better about not drinking.
8. Be Healthy Over the Holidays
Don’t let the holidays get the best of you by wrecking your diet and stressing you out. Instead, be sure to eat well and get enough sleep in the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve. This way, once the big day gets here, you’ll feel good about yourself and be less likely to turn to your old addiction to make yourself feel better.
9. Reward Yourself on New Year’s Day
Incentivize yourself to stay sober by creating a reward you’ll get to enjoy New Year’s Day. This reward could be a fun activity or a favorite snack.
Tell a friend or family member about how you’d like to reward yourself and ask them only to let you have the reward if you stay sober. They will then be able to hold you accountable and ensure that you’ll just receive the award if you genuinely earned it.
Staying sober on New Year’s Eve is a lot easier when you’re not alone. If you’re looking for a fun community that will support your recovery, come out to The Other Side recovery bar in Crystal Lake, IL. We would be more than happy to help you on your journey to recovery this holiday season.