‘Tis the season to be merry and bright, but when blackouts from drinking alcohol are involved, that apparently harmless sentiment can have frightening consequences. Christmas is a time of connection, catch ups, and celebrating the year that has gone by with your nearest and dearest. If you’re looking to have a sober Christmas, we are cheering you on.
Why consider a sober Christmas?
A sober Christmas has so many benefits. From enjoying a night out to remembering what you did the next day, to waking up with a clear head and enjoying crisp mornings and winter walks, the ripple effect of being sober at Christmas goes on. If you’re a parent, you’ll have the energy to spend time with your kids. If you’re going away, you won’t do something you regret whilst drinking. The list goes on.
It feels so good to know that you’re making decisions that have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing. Why not take some time now to list all of your personal reasons to have a sober Christmas? This will remind you why you’re choosing sobriety this Christmas, when others around you are making different decisions.
If you’re seeking a sober Christmas, and you need some support in making that happen, we have some tips to help you through the month ahead, and hopefully into next year, too.
Tips to stay sober at Christmas
Put yourself first
Before anyone else, even family, you need to come first. This might mean making some big decisions and having hard conversations around what you will do over the festive season. Make sure you are tending to your own needs first. If you know an event or situation is going to make you feel vulnerable, make the decision not to go. And yes, that can even include saying no to Christmas lunch with close relatives, particularly if you know they are big drinkers and they aren’t supportive of your decision not to drink.
Consider what Christmas means to you
While Christmas may have certain traditions and connotations, have a good think about what it means to you and how you want to spend your time. Just because you have done something one way for so long, doesn’t mean you can’t change it up. Getting involved in community events, volunteering time to charity, or starting a new positive habit in December, can give the season a different twist.
Set new traditions
Following on from that, allow yourself to set new traditions. From changing the order of the big day itself to choosing a new normal entirely, it’s really up to you. Include activities and set new patterns that work for you and your new life.
Maintain your new habits
When social schedules get busy, our habits can get tossed out the window. Make sure you reserve time for your new habits in sobriety. This can be things like journaling or meditating, therapy or yoga, or anything else in your toolbox that keeps you feeling like the best version of yourself. Don’t neglect them, make them a priority.
Know your triggers
Over time, you will work out what makes you feel uneasy, what makes you feel like the old version of yourself (not in the good kind of way). You will get better at spotting and avoiding those things and situations altogether. Start to figure out what your common triggers are – think along the lines of people, places and situations – and then you can make sure your December and your Christmas are filled with things that nourish you instead. What’s vital is to drop all sense of having to do things to keep other people happy – that serves no one at all.
Fill your festive cheer
Fill your diary with things that are fun, you don’t have to miss out because you are sober – quite the opposite. Find your festive cheer and get in on the action that makes you feel valued, included, and excited. Plan some days out, evenings in, and anything else that feels fun and uplifting, and most of all – supportive for you. The movies, a trip to the theatre, a Christmas outing with the kids, your local panto, breakfast in a cafe you love – it really can be anything you like.
Sobriety is for life, not just for Christmas
Staying sober at any time, not just Christmas, can feel like a mountain of a task. We know that it is a conscious decision that is made every single day to stay on this path. The key here is not to think about forever, it’s too much for anyone, let alone someone who is trying to reset after years of drinking too much.
The thing with Christmas is that it can feel so heavily rooted in the culture of going for a pint or a glass of wine after work. There are invitations from friends, Christmas parties that never seem to end, and these can spiral into evenings of lost memories and toilet cubicles.
Remember, sobriety is a choice. If you’re making that choice this year, then stick with it and know that many people will support you. Having the right people around you is a big factor in this, so choose your circle wisely!
If you’re looking for sobriety support from the festive season and beyond, we can offer a range of programmes to support your recovery journey. We work with adults who can’t stop drinking by themselves, who need professional help to stop and stay stopped.
About Help Me Stop
Talk to someone about what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling. At Help Me Stop, our team of alcohol treatment experts are on hand to help you find the right route to recovery. We offer drug and alcohol addiction treatment programmes, along with an affordable detox and rehab programme, to make sure you have everything you need to start your alcohol-free life.
Our programmes are centred around integrative psychotherapy, which blends a number of evidence-based therapies, including the 12 step approach to addiction treatment, person-centred therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, family therapy, art therapy, recovery workshops, mindfulness, and more. We work mainly in group sessions, and every client also has a one-to-one counselling session each week with their focal counsellor.
Support is here
To find out more about our alcohol rehab services, you can contact us via the methods below. Our staff are all here to listen without judgement, and to help you stop. Call us on 0208 191 9191 or email us on email@example.com