Holidays can be a difficult time for those in recovery. With Memorial Day approaching, you may be wondering how to stay sober during social gatherings like parties and barbeques. Whether you are newly sober or years into recovery, it can be difficult to face triggers during holidays.
We’ve put together 10 tips for sobriety this Memorial Day:
If you are aware that a particular Memorial Day party will be focused on alcohol or other substances, it’s best to just avoid this event. Keep in mind that exposure to these triggers are a fast way to relapse. It may not be immediate, but the event can start the process in the future.
By planning your own Memorial Day event, you are able to have full control of the situation. This includes the guest list, the activities, and the overall atmosphere. Hosting your own barbeque, picnic, or party in a way that makes you the most comfortable.
Center the holiday around family time. Plan kid and family-friendly activities to lessen the temptation for alcohol or other substances to be involved. Often times, family is our biggest network and support system. Surround yourself with family during the holiday weekend for good, clean fun.
Use your resources during this time when triggers may be present. As learned during treatment, attend a support group meeting during times when your recovery needs an added push of hope and strength.
This is someone you can turn to when you face the temptation of alcohol or substance use. Whether this person is a family member, friend, therapist, or sponsor, this person will help hold you accountable. Make sure this individual is available and let them know you are attending a gathering where there may be triggers. If you face these triggers, step out and call this person for support.
If you find yourself attending an event where there may be triggers, ask to bring along a sober friend or a friend that won’t drink with you. It is always comfortable knowing you are not alone in a situation, and a sober buddy will provide that comfort. You can also spend the holiday doing someone with this sober friend where you both stay away from alcohol or drugs, like going to the beach, a park, or an exercise class.
Transform your Memorial Day weekend by making it a weekend focused on health and wellness. Take advantage of time off work by planning a fun fitness routine for the weekend. Attend a new work out class, go to a different location to walk or run, or try out new healthy recipes!
Use your time wisely and charitably by volunteering at a local organization. There are a number of great causes in your community. Research them and use your time off helping others. You won’t only be helping others, but helping yourself as well.
If you are still considering attending an event where alcohol or drugs may be present, have an exit strategy planned and ready to go. This includes driving your own car or going with someone who will leave when you are ready to leave.
We understand that Memorial Day, like any other holiday, can be a tough time for those in recovery. By following these tips, you can ensure that your Memorial Day weekend is full of love and safety.