Holidays focus on food, family, friends, and celebration, which can include overindulging in alcohol. We also experience higher levels of stress, anxiety and can feel increased loneliness if we are away from loved ones during the holiday season. This can make staying sober extremely difficult. However, there are choices that you can make that can minimize your situation.

Consider these holiday tips when making decisions about drinking alcohol.

1.         Care for Your Basic Needs

  • Eat regularly to help you maintain healthy blood sugar and improve your mood.
  • Meditate or exercise each day to reduce stress.
  • Ensure that you get a full eight hours of sleep.

2.         Find Support

  • Make a list of people who you can talk to when you are struggling.
  • Connect with those who love and support you to help with loneliness.
  • Identify who you can count on to accompany you to holiday gatherings and help support you to make low-risk choices or stay sober.

3.         Choose Wisely

  • Choose to attend events that help you relax and recharge in healthy ways.
  • It’s okay to say “no” to activities that are not in your best interest.
  • Make a plan for situations where you might find yourself compelled to make high-risk choices.

4.         Develop New Traditions

  • Create a new tradition that allows you to celebrate the holidays in your new surroundings.
  • Plan activities that do not revolve around alcohol.
  • Volunteering can improve your sense of well-being and enhance self-esteem.

5.         Appreciate What You Have

  • Fostering an attitude of gratitude will improve mood.
  • Make a list of the things you are grateful for as one year ends and another begins.
  • Thank your family and friends for their support.

If you or someone you care about are struggling with alcohol or other substances, help is available at your local Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC).