For people in recovery, especially newly sober, New Year is one of the most challenging obstacles.
It’s a time of year that fuels and accepts heavy alcohol consumption and the repercussions that come with it. Binge drinking is normalised, as are days upon days of alcohol consumption across the festive period.
Whilst many will choose to ring in the New Year intoxicated, there are ways to avoid such influences and expectations. As a recovering addict, it’s essential to see New Year for what it is. It’s a celebration of a new chapter, which can kickstart new goals, outlooks, and habits. It’s a motivating time full of resolution and change.
Instead of entertaining the stereotype of New Year as an alcohol-fuelled celebration, embracing it as sober will be a better option for your recovery journey. Starting 2022 as sober as possible is a good starting point for change.
Here’s how to stay sober at New Year and carry forward your new intentions into everyday life. At Action Rehab, we’re here to help you take action to benefit your health, wellbeing, and recovery journey. Take action this New Year by staying sober.
Why is it essential to stay sober?
Justifying a change in routine and drinking habits across the festive season is easy for most people. ‘It’s Christmas’ is an excuse that is used for near enough anything throughout December, including the New Year.
However, using the same excuse as a recovering addict is dangerous and damaging. Justifying a change in routine and behaviour for a set period can trigger a relapse. It can be easy to get carried away once the addictive feelings of alcohol return.
Therefore, staying sober across the New Year celebrations is necessary to not only remain on track but also set the scene for the following year. Switching from festive habits to New Year resolutions can be much easier for the average person. Yet to switch with an addictive personality or triggers can be extremely difficult.
The New Year is a positive, motivating and refreshing time to embrace recovery truly. Many other people will be making some lifestyle changes, whether recovering themselves or getting healthier. Starting now is wise to avoid undoing the effort and work, especially as newly sober.
Here are some tips on how to stay sober at New Year to prepare for a new chapter free from the effects and control of alcohol. You can instead be in control by planning your upcoming celebrations.
Tips on how to stay sober this New Years
Plan your celebrations
Although you may be suffering from alcohol abuse or may be newly recovered, you can still celebrate this New Year. By planning your celebrations in advance, you can avoid influential settings or activities by opting for sober celebrations. The New Year can be welcomed in a sober state, instead embracing and taking in the cheer. Plan your setting, plan who you’ll be with and plan what alcohol-free drinks you will have.
Be the designated driver
If you’re feeling any urges or feel uncomfortable sharing your struggles, you can instead be the designated driver this New Year. By planning to drive, you’ll have a motivation to remain sober and to help your loved one’s home safely.
Know your triggers and act on them
You’ll likely be out of routine, to some degree, at your New Year celebrations. Being out of routine as newly sober can be very vulnerable. Triggers which you can usually control or stay away from may surface. Being aware of your triggers is very important, along with having a relapse prevention plan in place. To stay sober, you’ll need to take action as soon as possible, whether that’s through an exit strategy, a set of coping techniques or by reaching out for help.
Don’t entertain alcohol-fuelled plans
If you’re worried about feeling triggered by high-alcohol exposure, it’s best to avoid any risky plans. Try not to entertain plans which will motivate your desire to consume alcohol. For example, avoid stressful situations, avoid alcohol-fuelled settings, and avoid being with people who are negligent and uncontrollable around alcohol.
Rely on those you trust
Whether it’s your friends and family, a sponsor, or a support group, this is the time to rely on those you trust. To stay sober at New Year, you’ll need to share your concerns, you’ll need a support network to contact, and you’ll need people who care, understand, and support you through your choices. It’s also wise to spend some time with sober friends who have the same outlooks as you on alcohol.
Focus on your long-term recovery goals
New Year celebrations are for one night, and sobriety is for the long-term. By instead focusing on your long-term recovery goals, you’ll have the inspiration to make mindful, rational decisions about your plans. Highlight your reasons for staying sober.
Avoid the fantasy of New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is glamorised, and there’s a fantasy-like feel about it. Whilst it’s nice to celebrate, there’s also many pressures and expectations around the night. It can be easy to get caught up in the norms of New Year. Instead, avoiding the fantasy is recommended by focusing on your own traditions.
Go to a sober New Year’s event
Sober New Year’s Eve events are a thing. Most AA and NA meeting groups will arrange an event, acting as a safe place for recovering addicts. You may even have a group of sober friends who will also welcome the celebrations as alcohol-free. It’s essential to have as normal of a night as possible if you are worried about missing out, yet by minimising risks.
Don’t allow yourself to relapse
One night of celebration isn’t worth the relapse that can follow. Knowing how to stay sober at New Year is important to avoid temptation and cravings. At Action Rehab, we urge you to be mindful of your plans and prioritise your recovery process.
Source support and treatment here at Action Rehab
If you are worried about how your celebrations will pan out or hope to attend alcohol rehab in the New Year, we’re here to guide you at Action Rehab. Confidential advice on manoeuvring through this time of year will be available, along with how to maintain sobriety through any average day. Support groups, therapy sessions, educational sessions and comprehensive rehab programmes can be arranged through our network.
Whilst potentially different to previous celebrations, staying sober at New Year will benefit your long-term recovery journey. Stay consistent across the recovery process by remaining sober with our guidance.