Many of us look forward to the holidays as an opportunity to give thanks and spend time with loved ones we normally do not get to see. It’s a time for celebration, good food, and community. However, it can also present a number of triggers and stress from overstimulation. If you’re having difficulty getting control over your drinking or feel it is keeping you from engaging socially, it may be time to seek treatment. For those battling addiction, it can be a particularly trying time.
How to Manage Alcohol Addiction During the Holidays
If you are currently working through or with your addiction, being around large groups of friends and family who are celebrating the holidays by drinking copiously can put a strain on your battle. Before you surrender or isolate yourself from events (which can also have a negative affect) consider these options:
- Do not skip dinner: Avoid eating on an empty stomach, as alcohol will absorb into your bloodstream at a faster rate than if you have eaten.
- Set a limit: Decide on a limit before you go. If you know you’re going to be drinking, decide how many drinks you’ll have and pace yourself throughout the evening.
- Measure, do not pour: Always measure the amount of alcohol going into a mixed drink, this will allow you to have an accurate idea of how much you’ve had.
- Make it a team effort: Enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to help you stick to your limit and make sure you stay safe.
- Alternate: Remember to alternate alcoholic drinks with water. This will keep you hydrated, full, and help pace you through the evening.
- Lose the keys: Have a safe ride home. It’s always a good idea, even if you plan on not drinking, to have a safety net; should something not go according to plan. This ensures that no matter what, everyone will be safe. Even if you “feel fine,” remember a DUI costs more than an Uber!
Sobriety During the Holidays
If you have decided you do not want to drink this holiday season, here are some tips on maintaining your sobriety:
- Enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage: There are now a variety of options if you want to join in on the holiday festivities, without alcohol. Bring your own beverages to ensure you will have plenty for the evening and not risk venturing into alcoholic beverages, should you run out.
- No means no: We all know how early peer pressure can detract from our best laid plans, so be firm with people about not drinking or maintaining a limit. Your main focus is to look out for your well-being, not appeasing others with overdrinking. You can tell people ahead of time or at the event and give little to no detail why you’ve chosen not to partake or adhere to a specific amount. It is completely your decision.
- Know before you go: Be aware of the type of event you will be attending, whether it’s a family gathering, a close friend get-together, or a large party of people you don’t know well, it helps to consider the type of environment you will be in. If it seems like a situation that could potentially cause more issues by going than politely declining, consider staying at home or fining an alternative event.
- Lose the keys: Again, it’s always better to have a backup plan and not need it, than to be without one! Look into Uber, Lyft, or carpool with another sober party goer!
We understand that it can feel like you’re not part of the fun if you’re not partaking in alcohol, but remember, drinking is not the main event. Focus on enjoying time with your friends and family without comprising your health or safety! There is still plenty of fun to be had this holiday season!
If you or a loved one struggles with an alcohol use disorder, contact us at Cal Recovery Center today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you overcome your struggles with alcohol.