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Tips for Staying Sober Through the Holidays

Staying Sober Through the Holidays

The holiday season is finally upon us! The lights shine bright and the décor perks up even the most Grinch-like among us. What’s meant to be a season of fun and merriment for everyone, with festivities and get-togethers filling up the calendar, can feel like the opposite for those in recovery though.

Like avoiding landmines. 

Staying sober through the holidays can seem like a pressure-filled, high-wire act but with a little foresight and a dash of extra willpower, you can get through it and have a great time too.

Have a Plan

Just like folks plan those parties, you need to put a plan in place for how to navigate those parties and the season in general. What it should entail is really up to your needs and could be as simple as making sure you drive your own care or arrange your own transportation so you stay in control or having someone supportive of your recovery with you and accessible. Maybe it means planning to skip certain events altogether.

Level Up Your Support

Support groups are game-changers and powerful lifelines any time of the year but they really shine bright during the holidays. Increase the amount of support group meetings you go to, kick it into overdrive if you have to. If you can’t find a convenient meeting or a friend to go with, make sure you talk with someone supportive before and/or after attending a function and “bookend” the event.

Support will be the wings that carry you through this with ease.


If you’ve been attending support groups for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve already found yourself in something of a mentor role and experienced the benefits of that firsthand. How leading by example and helping a fellow addict through recovery helps to keep you accountable to your own sobriety. Embrace that and take a step further by volunteering in any capacity over the holidays.

Doing good for someone else does even more good for you and is great motivation to keep your recovery as a priority.

Limit Time Spent in Triggering Situations

The holidays are a time when you see lots of people that you ordinarily may not, including friends and family that may push your buttons just a little too much. If you know there’s an aunt or uncle that asks too many questions or an ex that you know will be around or old friends who still drink and use drugs, try to avoid those situations and people altogether.

Know What to Say and Be Open 

They say honesty is the policy and they say it for a reason. Being open and honest with people and letting them know you’re in recovery and sober is not only fine but encouraged. That said, you may not be comfortable telling people that, which is understandable. If that’s the case, have something of a script in mind on how to respond to offers of drinks or drugs.

Increase the Self-Care

Commit to gifting yourself some you-time this holiday season. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Eat well. Stay hydrated. Get a massage. Meditate. Workout. Sleep well. Even if it’s only a few moments, they can go a long way. So, whatever constitutes treating yourself, put more emphasis on it during the holidays.

Principles Recovery Center Has Your Back

Holidays and recovery don’t have to be like oil and water, they can actually mix and even go together quite well. The big takeaway here is that planning, above all else, goes a long way to ensuring that this holiday season is one you enjoy. If you’re feeling anxious though, no problem, get in touch with us at Principles Recovery Center and we’d be happy to give you even more tips and advice on how to navigate the season.

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