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Navigating the Holidays & Staying Sober While Doing It

The holiday season is a period of happiness, festivity, and bonding with dear ones. Yet, for those journeying towards recovery, the holiday celebrations can also pose distinct hurdles. Drawing lines becomes an essential part of preserving sobriety during these times. In this article, we will discuss ways to maintain boundaries while staying sober during the holidays and avoiding relapse.

Open Dialogue:

Honesty is crucial in establishing limits. Openly convey your choice to remain abstinent to your support system and family members. Discuss your reasons for opting for a sober life, enabling them to comprehend the significance of your dedication. Open dialogue cultivates a supportive atmosphere and minimizes the chance of accidental triggers.

Enlighten Others:

Some people might not completely understand the difficulties of sustaining sobriety, particularly at social events. Utilize the chance to enlighten your loved ones and family members about the essence of addiction and recovery. Teach them about the importance of being sober for you, and how their support can improve your health.

Be Selective:

Not all holiday parties may be compatible with your sobriety pledge. Choose social events that emphasize meaningful relationships over excessive alcohol consumption. Prefer gatherings that feature activities not centered around alcohol, like board game evenings, film binges, or outdoor escapades. Always remember you can leave whenever you want.


BYO: Bring Your Own:

To avoid the pressure to drink, bring non-alcoholic drinks to social events. This guarantees you won’t have to search for a drink and will deter any inquiries or propositions. Holding a non-alcoholic option can make you feel more comfortable in social settings.


Exit Strategy:

Prepare in advance for instances when you might feel uneasy or provoked. Having a plan to leave helps you politely exit risky situations that could jeopardize your sobriety. This plan could involve having a trustworthy friend or a ready excuse.


Set Clear Personal Boundaries:

Define your personal boundaries and communicate them assertively. If you feel overwhelmed, you can set boundaries by telling people what topics to avoid discussing.


Additionally, you have the option to decline certain invitations. Furthermore, you can also request some alone time. Establishing clear boundaries helps create a supportive environment for your recovery.


The holidays can be stressful and to stay sober this time of year, you have to take care of yourself first. Practice self-care by getting enough sleep, properly nourishing yourself, and finding ways to relax. Taking care of your body and mind will help you set and maintain boundaries.

Engage with Support Networks:

Count on your community and 12-step network for help with staying sober during holidays, as they understand the challenges. Participate in support group gatherings or interact with people who have comparable experiences. The feeling of unity and mutual comprehension can be priceless in strengthening your dedication to maintaining sobriety.


Setting boundaries as a sober person during the holidays is an empowering and essential aspect of safeguarding your recovery. By talking, learning, choosing wisely, and taking care of yourself, you can enjoy the celebrations without breaking your promise. During holidays, focus on staying sober and taking care of yourself by setting boundaries that match your objectives. This allows for meaningful connections and an ability to enjoy the holidays.

Begin Your Recovery at Enlightened Recovery

Enlightened Recovery is here to help you or your loved one overcome drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. Our holistic treatment programs treat the whole person in recovery. We have locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Get the help that you deserve now with Enlightened Recovery.