The few weeks around Christmas and New Years Eve can be some of the riskiest times, no matter where you are in your recovery. We’ve put together some hints and tips to help you keep your sobriety through this period so that you can celebrate the coming of 2019 with no regrets!

MINDSET

  • Each day of festive season is just another 24 hours, so try to remember ‘Just for Today’ and do not give the day any special powers over you or your behaviour.

  • Rather than thinking about how you feel you are ‘missing out’ by not drinking at this time, practice gratitude and remind yourself about all the things you are gaining by sticking to your sobriety

  • Know that it’s ok to take a break. It’s better to go for a walk then go for a drink. If the being with friends and family gets a bit too much at any point, go for a walk, remove yourself from the situation before it gets too much.

  • Have realistic expectations for the period- it might be fun, it might also be difficult. Be prepared to deal with extremes of emotions and plan how you will regulate both positive and negative emotions over this period- as both can be a trigger.

  • Remember the spiritual basis of Christmas- it is not all about drinking, but generosity, companionship and even a time to connect to your higher power.

  • Staying sober at Christmas can be a challenge – but its better then the alternative  realistically and honestly think about all the things you would loose if you chose to give up you’re sobriety over this period.

  • Don’t avoid Christmas because you are scared of relapse- engage with it! Get your presents sorted, wrap them beautifully, get the christmas cards written and posted, decorate the house beautifully! Keep pro-active and positive wherever you can!

  • Don’t forget to think about others over this period, think about your friends, family and colleagues and what might be going on in their lives- it can give you some perspective and purpose, whilst also taking some of the focus off drinking.

  • Be aware that there’s an increase in relapse in January- people are so ‘relieved’ (and exhausted) to have ‘survived’ Christmas that they relapse. Being aware of this and planning for (with extra meetings etc) can go a long way in ensuring you and your sobriety are safe.

PLANNING & BEHAVIOURS

  • Write a daily gratitude list to remind you why being sober is brilliant and to keep your motivation and spirits up. How much more do you have this sober christmas then you’ve had compared to some of your darker Christmases?

  • Make a list of people you can call if things get difficult, don’t let up on meetings- make sure you’re still attending regularly even over this busy period and do service where you can.  If you’re worried about calling people over christmas do not be afraid to use stop drinking helplines! make a list of them now!

  • Don’t miss out on the best parts of the festive season by isolating yourself and hiding away, sobriety doesn’t mean being alone! It can be very important for you to avoid ‘wet’ places, but you can still organise events where you can see everyone that’s important to you- you can host a game night, a pre-christmas lunch, recovery party or other fun and sober event. This article here has some more ideas.

  • Check to see if your local fellowship has any events, dinners or dances over the festive season.

  • When it comes to work-place christmas parties, or big new year events which aren’t dry- plan in advance if you’re going to tell people you’re not drinking, have a ‘get out clause’ and don’t let yourself be talked into anything- know how to say no! Decide what you will be drinking in advance.

  • Fill up your time with positive things and plan these out in advance as much as you can- rather than ‘slobbing out’ alone plan exercise, running, walking or relaxation exercises. Treat yourself to a spa.

SOME SOBER EVENTS THIS FESTIVE PERIOD…

21 December 2018

christmas cracker sober events

Free sober party

8pm-Late. Moustache Bar, Darlington, N16 7XB more info

25 December 2018

London Chelsea Intergroup Christmas Day Convention

Convention

9am to 9.30pm. Eight one hour meetings and between each meeting enjoy Fellowship, tea, coffee and biscuits. All meetings open. Meeting times: 9.30am, 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm, 5pm, 6.30pm, 8pm. For more information or to volunteer for service, please e-mail: eco.lnchelsea@aamail.org

Location: Hall of Remembrance, Flood Street, London, SW3 5SY

31 December 2018

New Years Eve Dance,

Convention

7.30pm – 12.15 am. Sponsored by Williton’s Thursday and Sunday Groups of Somerset Intergroup. Tickets £10 in advance, no paying on the door.

Location: West Buckland Village Hall, TA21 9NA, Junction 26 off the M5.

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