By having a plan and sticking to it, you’ll be putting your recovery first. This is important at all times of the year, but it’s especially true during the holidays. You need recovery to remain successful in your everyday life, so you must treat it that way. Your triggers might work overtime during the holidays. Cope with them by starting new holiday traditions that will help you avoid old, unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaving.

Adopting this perspective can take tremendous courage. Because you are in recovery, you have already demonstrated the capacity for tremendous courage and change. When sober holidays we aren’t posting here, we build programs to help people quit drinking. So many of us have spent years pleasing others, only to drive ourselves deeper into addiction.

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Low blood sugar can leave you irritable or anxious. This may result in you feeling tempted and impulsive by substances like drugs and alcohol. Proper nutrition is crucial for your health and mental well-being, especially during recovery. Have a healthy snack or meal about everythree hours. Also, make sure you are consistently drinking water to stay hydrated.

This means thinking ahead about all situations and the possible triggers that may arise during the holiday season. Planes don’t have “no alcohol” sections, so the person right next to you might order something alcoholic. Ideally, fly with someone you know, someone who knows you are in recovery and will avoid drinking during the trip. If you’re flying alone and feeling vulnerable, explain your situation to the flight attendant. Ask if he can help you change your seat if anyone next to you orders anything stronger than tomato juice.

Celebrating Sober: 11 Tips for Staying Sober during the Holidays

If you do get stuck next to a drinker, close your eyes and meditate. Put your headphones on and zone out to music or a meditation recording, or watch the movie. If you have Wi-Fi on the plane, contact a friend in recovery for support. People get time off of work, travel to see their families, spend time preparing for the holidays, and often don’t adhere to their typical routines during the holiday season.

If you think a party will have too many triggers or too much temptation, feel confident in saying “no.” Recovery matters more than attending a Christmas party. This is particularly important for those who are new to recovery. Saying yes when you should say no can create problems and leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Another great way to stay sober for the holidays is to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages. Always ask in advance if your host will be providing any non-alcoholic drinks.

Have your props ready.

Remember, the end goal isn’t just to be sober; it is about being the best version of yourself. You may find yourself white-knuckling through some tense moments in order to hold on to your sobriety, and those are okay here and there. Surprises happen, and not everything can be predicted and/or avoided. For the most part, however, you should have an idea for yourself that is greater than avoiding drugs and alcohol and let that be your motivation. Therefore, feeling like an outsider or left out is a huge threat to our core need for belonging.