New Year’s Eve, once associated with overindulgence and substance abuse, is now associated with overindulgence and substance abuse, posing a potential problem for those in recovery.
There are, thankfully, effective tools and alternatives for having a sober celebration.
Destination Hope, a women’s drug rehab center in Florida, offers sober celebrations tips to help you stay sober over the holidays and throughout the year.
“Women in recovery often find New Year’s Eve a challenging time, because it brings up memories of past events where they may have relied on alcohol to fuel the celebrations,” said Ben Brafman, founder and CEO of Destination Hope. “We’ve found that the key to sobriety is finding alternative ways of celebrating.”
If you’re going to a party with alcohol, bring a non-alcoholic beverage with you, practice saying “no” to the offer of alcohol, and go with a trusted friend who can keep you on track. And remember that in the morning, when everyone else is suffering from a hangover, you’ll be feeling fantastic.
However, parties are only one way to ring in the New Year.
“We remind the women in our program that there are so many other ways to ring in the New Year,” said Brafman. “They can stay at home or family, watching the ball drop on TV with a mug of hot chocolate.”
Other ideas are as follows:
- Attending a musical production, play, or comedy show
- Participating in a community service project
- Visiting the movies
- Paying a visit to a friend or family member
- Visiting a spa
- Hosting a party with mocktails (alcohol-free beverages)
- Whether you’re in recovery or not, New Year’s Eve can be a stressful event that frequently falls short of expectations. Individuals can avoid disappointment by flipping the script on their traditions.
Instead, make the evening a joyous and loving celebration of family and health, rather than health.
“So many people feel the pressure to go ‘all out’ for New Year’s Eve,” said Brafman. “The truth is, that’s completely unnecessary and they often wind up feeling let down. Having a sober celebration means being fully present for the entire evening, not to mention the following day.”
Instead of concentrating on New Year’s Eve, consider January 1st and the goals you want to achieve this year. Begin by creating new memories with a sober celebration that sets the tone for the coming year.
Making resolutions to improve one’s current health and mental state should be the focus of the New Year, not disappointment and regret.
Staying sober over the holidays and throughout the year will not only improve your current situation, but it will also lower your health and life insurance premiums. This is because insurance companies offer lower rates to healthy people.