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sober new years, hands holding sparklers in a circle

Having a Sober New Year’s

When you are actively recovering, it may seem impossible to find a way to celebrate a sober New Year’s. Holidays can be especially dangerous and difficult if you are in recovery. Fatal overdoses and alcohol-related fatalities extremely common during New Year’s. Thus, New Year’s poses a threat to your sobriety. Holidays can also create a lot of stress.
Since many holidays involve family gatherings, if you have a dysfunctional family or don’t live near loved ones, holidays can sometimes cause feelings of loneliness and depression. Negative emotions, like stress, can also increase cravings and serve as dangerous triggers. However, recovering from alcoholism or a substance abuse disorder doesn’t mean you can’t find fun ways to celebrate a sober New Year’s.

Recovery and Holidays

While addiction impacts roughly 20 million Americans annually, even more people are recovering from a substance abuse disorder. In fact, 10% of Americans are currently in recovery from addiction, substance abuse disorder, or alcoholism. That means if you’re struggling to find ways to celebrate a sober New Year’s, you’re not alone.

Many holiday parties are fueled by alcohol, especially on New Year’s. In fact, New Year’s is the booziest holiday in the United States, with more men and women binge drinking on New Year’s than any other holiday throughout the year. Alcohol and drugs are a mainstay at a lot of New Year’s events and parties. Therefore, it can be difficult to avoid substances if you don’t pre-plan a sober New Year’s.

Holidays can be very stressful if you have bad memories of celebrations. This is common if you had an unstable or traumatic childhood. Other times, financial problems can make the holidays difficult, because many holidays involve activities like gift-giving and traveling. If you are on a tight budget, it may also mean that you can’t afford to visit friends or family members.

If you are new to recovery, the holidays may also mean extra down-time. Having free-time is a great way to de-stress but having too much time on your hands can cause boredom and cravings. Many employers provide extra days off during the holidays, so if you find yourself with an excessive amount of free time, make sure that you have a plan in place to keep yourself occupied with healthy and sober activities.

How to Celebrate a Sober New Year’s

The best way to celebrate a sober New Year’s is to make sure you plan ahead. Waiting until the last minute to find ways to enjoy New Year’s is a bad idea. Because many places close on New Year’s, bars are especially crowded and popular. Without a proper sober New Year’s plan, walking into a bar can become a real possibility. Especially if you have intense cravings.

If you are active in a recovery group like AA, NA, or SMART Recovery, your group may host a sober New Year’s event. Some other ways to enjoy a sober New Year’s include:

  • Seeing a movie at a movie theater
  • Shopping
  • Attending church or mass
  • Spending time with sober friends and family members

A sober New Year’s can also involve asking close friends or loved ones to exclude alcohol from the holiday festivities.

Finding Help Today at Right Step Houston

When you are struggling with your recovery or sobriety, celebrating a sober New Year’s can be difficult and stressful. Learning how to enjoy life without drugs and alcohol means that finding fun ways to participate in holiday celebrations is an important way to strengthen your recovery.

If the holidays are causing you to struggle with your recovery, call Right Step Houston at 1.844.768.0169 to find out more about how our programs can help you maintain sobriety.

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