Cheers to Tears

Navigating Thanksgiving Sober: Strategies for Dealing with Family Functions and Alcohol

The holiday season is here, and with it comes family gatherings and festivities. However, for those who choose to be sober, this can be a challenging time.

It’s not uncommon for family functions to involve drinking, and this can trigger difficult feelings, leading to potential relapse. In this article, we will explore how to manage Thanksgiving sober, and how to deal with family functions where drinking is prevalent.

Managing Thanksgiving Sober

Alcohol and Family Functions

Family gatherings often involve alcohol, and this can be triggering for those who have chosen to be sober. It’s important to remember that alcohol is a part of our culture, and it’s acceptable to drink in social settings.

However, it’s also important to acknowledge that not everyone wants to drink or is capable of doing so.

Anticipate Your Triggers Ahead of Time

Recognizing your triggers is an essential part of maintaining sobriety. Triggering events can come in many forms, such as passive-aggressive family members or heated discussions during dinner.

Mental work is required to identify your triggers and plan for how to handle them.

Keep Yourself Busy

Idle hands can lead to negative thoughts during family functions. One way to prevent this from happening is to keep yourself busy.

Volunteer to help in the kitchen, rake leaves, or organize a card game. Being proactive will help you avoid awkward situations and trigger points.

Agree to Disagree

It’s important to recognize that not everyone shares the same opinions and beliefs. During family gatherings, discussions can become heated and heated conversations can lead to triggers.

Instead of getting involved in these difficult conversations, agree to disagree and move on.

Focus on the Food

One of the highlights of Thanksgiving is the food. The turkey, gravy, stuffing, and potatoes are the star of the show.

Focus on the food, not on drinking, and savor the flavors of the season. Resist the temptation to eat until you are bloated, and instead, grab an aluminum foil to-go plate and enjoy the leftovers.

Leave Early

Sometimes it’s necessary to have an exit strategy. If family functions become too overwhelming, it’s okay to leave early.

Plan ahead by arranging to meet with friends, or having a work project to accommodate. Leaving early will give you the opportunity to decompress and avoid triggers.

Alcohol and Family Functions

Americans and Alcohol

Alcohol is a part of American culture. It’s socially acceptable to drink in social settings, and this is often the norm during family functions.

However, it’s important to recognize that not everyone is comfortable drinking, and tolerability varies from person to person.

Drinking Ideas for Holidays

Drinking games, cocktails, and punch are often found on Pinterest when it comes to holiday drinking ideas. It’s essential to remember that not everyone drinks.

Offering non-alcoholic options, such as flavored water, soda, or mocktails, can help those who opt for sobriety during the holidays feel more included.

Energy of Drinking

Drinking can create a sense of energy and excitement, but it’s important to remember that sobriety can be just as fun. It’s possible to match the energy of the party without drinking alcohol.

Participating in games, conversations, and laughter has the same effect on the brain as drinking does, without the negative consequences.

Conclusion

Managing Thanksgiving sober can be challenging, but it’s possible with the right preparation and mindset. Anticipating your triggers ahead of time, keeping yourself busy, agreeing to disagree, focusing on food, and leaving early are all strategies that can help you maintain sobriety.

Remember that alcohol is a part of American culture, but it’s also important to recognize that not everyone drinks. Offering non-alcoholic options and matching the energy of the party without alcohol can be just as fun and festive.

In conclusion, managing Thanksgiving sober and dealing with family functions where drinking is prevalent is a challenge, but it can be overcome with proper planning and execution. By anticipating triggers, staying busy, agreeing to disagree, focusing on food, and leaving early, you can maintain sobriety and enjoy the holiday season.

Remember that alcohol is a part of American culture, but it’s not necessary for a fun and festive atmosphere. Here are some common FAQs covering key topics:

1.

How can I anticipate triggers ahead of time during family gatherings? Identify potential sources of stress or anxiety and plan for how to handle them before the event.

2. What can I do to keep myself busy during family functions?

Volunteer to help in the kitchen, organize a card game, or engage in outdoor activities. 3.

How should I respond to difficult conversations during Thanksgiving dinner? Agree to disagree, move on, and focus on positive interactions.

4. How can I match the energy of the party without drinking alcohol?

Participate in games, conversations, and laughter to experience the same sense of energy and excitement as drinking. 5.

Do I always have to offer non-alcoholic options during family events? Offering non-alcoholic options can help those who opt for sobriety feel more included, but it’s ultimately up to personal preference.

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