How to Navigate Your First Sober Holiday Season

sober holidays

The holidays are the most self-indulgent time of year. Many people use this season as an excuse to go overboard, eating rich food and drinking excessively. Even at a more reserved gathering, you may still have to deal with stressful situations such as meeting new people or dealing with triggering family members. Many recovering addicts find the holiday season to be fraught with challenges, especially newly sober people. 

Tips to Help You Through Your First Sober Holiday

If you’re spending your first holiday season in sobriety, what can you do to make things easier for yourself?

1. Be Honest With Yourself and Others

You’ve committed to recovery, and that’s one of the most difficult things anyone can do. You owe it to yourself and others to be transparent about what you’re going through. If someone offers you alcohol or drugs at a party, there’s no shame in explaining why you have to turn them down. Politely explain that you are newly sober, and that you are making your health and happiness a priority. 

2. Give Back to Your Community

Donating your time and talents to helping others is one of the most rewarding feelings you can have. Volunteering can help you feel more connected to your community and lower your stress levels – two benefits that are vital to newly sober people. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to volunteer, whether you are sorting canned goods at your nearby food bank or helping socialize cats and dogs who are up for adoption at a local shelter. There is no wrong way to volunteer, and doing so will always put a spring in your step. 

3. Avoid Known Triggers

If an old friend invites you to their annual substance-fueled holiday party, don’t feel guilty about saying no. By the same token, there’s nothing wrong with turning down an invitation to attend a family get-together where you know your nosy relatives will pester you about having gone through rehab. No matter how much progress you feel like you’ve made in recovery, there’s no reason to try to grin and bear it through a situation that could compromise all the time and effort you’ve put in. Protecting your sobriety should always come first.

4. Make Time for Self-Care

Between cooking, decorating and shopping for everyone on your “nice” list, the holiday season can be a whirlwind of activity. No matter how busy you get, don’t neglect to eat well, exercise and get plenty of restorative sleep. Meditation and yoga will help you stay spiritually balanced, as well.

5. Start New Traditions 

If being newly sober has made you realize that all your previous holiday activities revolved around drugs and alcohol, make a fresh start and introduce something new to enjoy with your family and friends. Whether you have a contest where you bake and decorate your favorite holiday cookies, invite everyone over to your place for a movie marathon or host a holiday open house and taco bar, your only limit is your imagination. Get creative and find something that works for you!

Women’s-Only Addiction Treatment  

By focusing on the unique needs of women in addiction recovery, Canyon Crossing has built a place of healing in Prescott, AZ. If you have resolved to break out of the cycle of substance misuse, contact us today to speak with our caring admissions team. 

Benefits of Residential AddictionTreatment

You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. This is the philosophy behind our residential addiction treatment program. At Canyon Crossing, women learn to live life on life’s terms while staying in a safe, substance-free setting. This gives our clients the space and peace needed for lasting recovery.
Our residential program combines high-accountability sober living arrangements with first-rate clinical care. While staying in our homes, clients participate in process groups, one-on-one counseling sessions, and hands-on learning opportunities. They also receive ongoing training; in these meetings, life skills like financial management and conflict resolution are imparted. All of this happens with 24/7 encouragement, guidance, and supervision from our clinical team.
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