The whole idea of a sober New Years is difficult to imagine for many people, especially for those who have only recently gone into recovery. Obviously, there are some big challenges for those of us who wish to remain sober on New Year’s Eve. Fortunately, there are techniques you can learn in alcohol addiction treatment that you can use to help you stay sober on New Years.
How to Have Fun Sober: Go Against Expectations
We may see in television shows and movies that crowds celebrate New Year’s Eve by popping champagne when the ball drops and drinking other alcoholic drinks before the year is over. But what if you were an alcoholic and are trying to quit? What if you’re in recovery and you’re trying to stay the course? It is important to know that you do not need alcohol in order to have a fun time to celebrate the new year.
People may feel they need to drink alcohol in order to feel more loose and relaxed around their friends. The start of a brand new year is about to begin and you are surrounded by your friends and loved ones. You should not need alcohol to bring about those feelings of happiness and laughter.
Here are some sober living tips you can use this year:
Shift the focus from drinking to dinner
One way you can spend New Year’s Eve sober is by having a nice dinner with someone you love. It can be either a home cooked meal of a new recipe that you have always wanted to try out or you can go out to a fancy restaurant.
If you go to a restaurant, make sure to ask them to hold the wine menu. If you are surrounded by too many people drinking alcohol at their tables, ask if you can eat outside so you can enjoy your outdoor surroundings and the fresh air. You can also go to a local comedy club to fill your night with laughter as well as dessert and coffee after.
New Year’s Eve can be the time to do something for yourself as you spend all year working hard on your recovery. You can have a spa day either at a salon or in your own home. Get your hair done, paint your nails, relax in a sauna, deep breathing in a jacuzzi, wear a face mask, etc. You can also do work for others as addiction can make you selfish thinking of only your needs.
Volunteer to help others
Volunteering can allow you to give back to those who need it and help you find a purpose in your life. There are probably people in low-income neighborhoods that do not have the resources to have a happy New Year’s celebration due to a lack of funds. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, help build a house, tutor kids, make a donation, etc. You can also go on VolunteerMatch to see if there are any hospitals or senior homes that are holding New Year’s Eve events that need a few helping hands.
Consider unique alternatives to parties
New Year’s Eve is also about having new experiences to end the year with. You can go on a hike with friends and take pictures or videos of all of the sights that you see. Breathe in the air and take a look at the trees and the flowers. Back when you were drinking or doing drugs, you would not have been able to notice those things. If it is cold outside, take advantage of the weather by going ice skating whether it is at a rink or a frozen pond or lake.
You can also go on vacation to somewhere you have never been to before so that you can cross it off of your bucket list. Make sure wherever you stay is not a partying area where there are any triggers of alcohol or drugs that you can get easy access to.
You don’t have to go out on the town
It can also be nice to spend New Year’s Eve in the comfort of your home. You can host a game night at your house with classic board games like Cranium, Scrabble, Life!, Twister, etc. Just make sure that none of these games involve taking shots of alcohol!
You can make a potluck dinner at your house where everyone brings a dish they made based on a theme you pick. Fondue nights can also be fun as well as you can dip your favorite vegetables, meats, or fruits in your favorite dipping sauces.
You and your friends can also make mock cocktails so that you do not have to feel like water is your only option to celebrate with. There are a variety of recipes that you can find online such as virgin margaritas, lavender lemonade, mock champagne, etc.
Another option is everyone can stay in and plan a movie marathon. You can pick a theme or genre of movies starting from the morning until the ball drops or the best movies everyone has seen this year.
If you absolutely have to go to a New Year’s Eve party, it is important for you to take extra safety precautions. Let one of your friends know that you do not want anyone pressuring you to drink or to be encouraged to participate in any drinking games. You do not have to tell anyone that you are in recovery. Just let them know that you simply do not want to drink tonight.
If you see everyone else drinking and you feel a relapse coming on, make sure to bring a sober friend with you to the party to stay with you at all times in case you feel like grabbing an alcoholic drink. If the party is too uncomfortable for you, make sure that you have cash on you for public transportation as well as ride sharing apps already on your phone.
New Year’s Eve is about the celebrating of the end of a hardworking you and being excited for the next one. You do not need alcohol to enjoy the end of the year.
Need Help With Your Sober Techniques?
Don’t let New Year’s Eve become a difficult time for you. We can help.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery.
For more information, please call us at 855.478.3650. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.