The Holidays – we can’t run from them whether we wanted to. They’re going to come around every single year and what other’s consider a time to “drink and be merry!”. Not for us alcoholisc though, we cannot take a few drinks here or there. It just doesn’t work that way. For the alcoholic, the holidays are not always filled with cheer. Being an alcoholic means you can’t drink at all, not even a little bit without throwing your holiday season into a black out, drunken blur. And who wants that?
Holiday drinking is a social norm and for alcoholics it can be hard to prevent it. Sometimes during the holiday season it seems like liquor, beer, and wine are everywhere! So if you can’t even take that one holiday drink, what do you do? How do you end up preventing holiday drinking?
We bring you “Good tidings!” Here are 5 ways to preventing holiday drinking:
Surround yourself with sober people
Preventing holiday drinking is easier when you’re around people who aren’t drinking. It is as simple as that. Granted we know this won’t always be the case but in the meantime this is a great way to preventing holiday drinking. It is vital to have positive, sober people who you can rely on and spend time with during the holidays. Most people emulate the behavior of the people around them and for alcoholics being around sober people is a great way to emulate sobriety. Which makes surrounding yourself with sober people one of the key ingredients to preventing holiday drinking.
Simply ask for a non-alcoholic beverage
For some reason to alcoholics, the thought of ordering or asking for a non-alcoholic beverage while at an event, party, social outing where other people are drinking alcoholic beverages is daunting. It is ok and most people won’t even notice and if they do, they won’t say anything to you about it. You are the only person in the room who notices the alcohol because you are an alcoholic. Non-alcoholic people don’t notice alcohol like you do. So when someone comes up and offers you a cranberry and vodka, just say no thanks I will take sparkling water, a soda, or whatever it is that doesn’t have alcohol. It’s as easy as that.
Manage your stress
Becoming stressed out during the holidays can easily lead to holiday drinking. As alcoholics we learn that drinking is the way to cope with stress and during the holidays it can seem much easier to drink your sorrows and stresses away than at any other time of the year. So make sure to do whatever you like to do to manage your stress, whether it is exercising, talking with a family member, getting a massage, meditating etc. One of the biggest ways to preventing holiday drinking is to keep yourself in a state of well-being.
Indulge! Just not on alcohol!
Just because you cannot indulge in the drinking part of the holiday season doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the atmosphere, food, parties etc. Benefit yourself in order to keep preventing holiday drinking. When you don’t take a drink, eat piece of chocolate instead! Reward yourself for your efforts. This is key! You deserve it. The holidays can be merry without drinking! Preventing holiday drinking is easy when you realize what else you can do to get in the holiday spirit.
Have a plan b, and maybe even a plan c to prevent holiday drinking.
There are going to be instances where you have cravings for alcohol and you find yourself in situations where you may not easily be able to escape the temptation. This is why it is always good to have a plan in place to prevent holiday drinking. Having a plan and knowing how you’re going to handle the situation will give you something stable to fall back on should the worst scenario happen. Tell your friends or family members that you’re comfortable with that you may call them in emergency situations. Whatever it is just make sure you have a backup plan in those really tough instances. Sometimes it takes family and friends to help you in order to prevent holiday drinking and that’s ok! You will feel closer to them because of it and that’s the main focus of the holidays to begin with! To spend time with the people you love!
Preventing holiday drinking doesn’t have to be a daunting task and it doesn’t have to be something that you are missing out on. It is merely one aspect of a very large holiday season that is meant to be so much more than parties and champagne. Use your sobriety to really find the meaning in the holidays for yourself and the ways you can fill yourself with the holiday spirit. You might be surprised to find that you don’t need to be preventing holiday drinking but actually enjoying the time just being happy with family and friends!
Happy Holidays! Be Safe!
If you or someone you know needs treatment for Alcohol Addiction please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at www.palmpartners.com.