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Staying Sober Through the Holidays: Tips and Resources

Staying Sober During the Holidays: Tips and Resources

The holidays are often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year, but for those in recovery from addiction, it can also be one of the most challenging times. With endless parties and gatherings, social and familial expectations, and the stress of gift giving and travel, the holiday season is rife with potential triggers that can threaten one’s sobriety.

Here are some tips and resources to help navigate the holidays sober.

Importance of Self Care

First and foremost, taking care of oneself is crucial during the holidays. This can mean different things for different people, but some possible self-care practices include getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising regularly, carving out some alone time, and practicing mindfulness and/or meditation.

Stress can be a major trigger for relapse, so finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety can help keep sobriety intact.

Bringing Nonalcoholic Drinks to Gatherings

One of the biggest challenges of remaining sober during holiday gatherings is social pressure to drink. Bringing a nonalcoholic drink option to parties can help alleviate some of that pressure.

Mocktails, sparkling water with lime or other nonalcoholic drink options can act as a substitute for alcoholic beverages. If possible, it’s also helpful to inform the host in advance that you will not be drinking, so they can ensure other nonalcoholic options are available.

Practicing Responses to Drinking Offers

Unfortunately, alcohol is often a ubiquitous presence during the holidays, and it’s not uncommon for people to offer drinks to others without considering whether that person wants or can handle them. Practicing responses ahead of time can help these moments feel less awkward.

Some examples of responses to drinking offers include “no thanks, I’ve already got a drink,” “I don’t drink anymore,” or “I’m the designated driver tonight, but I can have a soda.” Practicing ahead of time can help make the decision-making process when offered a drink more automatic and less anxiety-inducing.

Identifying and Managing Drinking Triggers

In order to maintain sobriety, it’s important to identify and manage potential drinking triggers. Common triggers include stress, loneliness, boredom, and certain situations like parties or being around certain people.

Through mindfulness and paying attention to one’s own behavior patterns, individuals can begin to identify their own triggers. Once identified, they can begin to develop a plan to manage them that may include self-care, seeking support from friends or family members, or even attending a support group meeting.

Staying Connected to Your Support System

Staying connected with one’s support system is especially important during the holidays. This can include attending support group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous or a similar program.

It may also include connecting with supportive friends and family members who are willing to listen and offer support when needed. Having a support system in place can help mitigate feelings of loneliness or isolation, which can be a trigger for relapse.

Creating Sober Holiday Events

Finally, another way to stay sober during the holidays is by planning alcohol-free events. This can include hosting events yourself or attending events that center around activities other than drinking, like hiking, ice-skating, or attending a holiday craft fair.

Creating and attending sober events can help reduce the urge to drink and offer a sense of community and connection with others in recovery.

Ria Health as a Resource for Staying Sober During the Holidays

In addition to the tips listed above, Ria Health offers additional resources for those looking to stay sober during the holidays. Ria Health’s telehealth program offers personalized medical and coaching support via phone or video chat that can be accessed from the comfort of one’s home.

Patients can also access online coaching meetings and virtual support groups to connect with others in recovery. For those who struggle with cravings, anti-craving medications are also an option.

Ria Health also offers app-based support, making it easier to access services and resources on the go. In conclusion, staying sober during the holidays is both possible and important for those in recovery from addiction.

By taking care of oneself, preparing for social situations, identifying and managing triggers, staying connected with a support system, and planning sober activities, individuals can successfully navigate the holiday season. And for additional support, resources like Ria Health can provide an extra layer of support and guidance.

Remember, one can enjoy the holiday season while remaining sober and healthy. In conclusion, sobriety during the holidays can be challenging, but it is possible with the right strategies and resources.

By taking care of oneself, planning ahead, identifying triggers, staying connected with support systems, and utilizing resources like Ria Health, individuals can successfully navigate the holiday season without compromising their sobriety. Remember to put your wellbeing first and seek help when you need it.


1. What are some common drinking triggers during the holidays?

-Stress, loneliness, boredom, and attending parties or events with alcohol are common triggers. 2.

How can I respond to drinking offers during social events? -Practice responses ahead of time such as “No thank you, I’m not drinking tonight,” or “I’m the designated driver, but I can have a soda.”


What are some non-alcoholic drink options for gatherings? -Mocktails, sparkling water with lime, and other non-alcoholic drinks can be great substitutes for alcoholic beverages.

4. Can I still have fun during the holidays without drinking?

-Absolutely. You can plan sober activities like hiking or attending craft fairs, and you can still enjoy social events without alcohol by focusing on conversations and activities rather than drinking.

5. How can Ria Health support sobriety during the holidays?

-Ria Health offers telehealth services, online coaching meetings, virtual support groups, app-based support, and anti-craving medications to support those in recovery during the holidays and beyond.

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