The holidays are an emotional time of year, making it an easy excuse to drink. But if you want to keep the temptation away, here’s how.
We’re back here again. Despite vaccines and some relative peace for the past couple of months, COVID-19 cases are spiking again and many people’s holiday plans were thrown out the window. This leaves most of us in a pretty vulnerable place, making alcohol a tempting option to soothe our concerns, something we’ve done a lot during the past two years. And while there’s nothing wrong with this approach, you could also try spending the holidays sober.
Trying to get through the holidays without the help of any kind of substance is a tall order under normal circumstances. It’s borderline unrealistic under these circumstances. Still, if alcohol or other substances are causing you discomfort, here are some tips that can help you stay sober through the holidays.
Spot your triggers
Most of us don’t think about what makes us want to have a drink. Take this opportunity as a chance to be more introspective, thinking about your relationship with alcohol and jotting down whenever you feel the urge to have a drink and what prompted that reaction. After a couple of days of this, you’ll start spotting some trends and patterns that can help you steer clear of triggering situations, making it easier to stay sober.
Keeping track of your triggers is also a helpful practice when using alcohol or substances to numb emotions, which should be cause for concern.
Stick to a routine during the big days
Days of celebration, like Christmas Eve or New Years, are usually associated with a lot of drinking, making it more difficult than other days to stay sober. Make a plan for these dates and try to stick to it, waking up at a certain time, perhaps working out, and planning whatever it is you want to do to celebrate. If you’re not in the mood for workouts during the holidays, it’s okay. This advice still applies; plan out your movie marathon, your phone calls with friends or your video game binge. Keep yourself busy and the odds of drinking or overthinking will be dramatically reduced.
Inform people of your plans
If you’re spending the holidays with someone, let them know of your plans. There’s no need to go in too deep as to why you’re not drinking or consuming any substances for the holidays, but verbalizing this will likely reduce people annoying you to have a drink when you don’t want to.
Stay in touch with your loved ones
No matter what your plans are over the holidays, whether you’re riding solo or staying with family, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. The pandemic is rough and the holidays are the perfect occasion for exacerbated emotions. Reach out to your loved ones and let them know how you feel; odds are, they’re probably coping with something similar.