Best tips for staying sober in the new year

Tips for Staying Sober in the New Year

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Learn why safeguards are important when it comes to staying sober in the New Year.

Staying sober in the New Year (and also on New Year’s eve) is something on the minds of many who have been through rehab and/or are in recovery for alcohol or drugs. Because New Year’s often comes with celebrations and parties where substances like alcohol are plentiful, and culture pushes a party mentality, navigating a path to staying sober is crucial in order to stay on track. The reality is, even if you distance yourself as much as possible from potential triggers, at some point, you may wind up in an environment where drugs or alcohol are available. The key is to have multiple safeguards in place beforehand and be prepared. Here are a few tips for staying sober on New Year’s and beyond:

Build Your Sober Support Network 

Have you thought about how you would handle a triggering situation, should it occur? These types of situations will happen at some point, and this is where a sober support network can come in handy. If you have to attend a function for work on New Year’s or even a family wedding at some point this year where you know alcohol will be available, consider bringing a sober buddy. This person should be someone you trust and who is aware of your sobriety and wants to help you stay on track. You should also be able to be completely honest with this person, and able to tell him if you are feeling tempted while at an event or if you need to leave because of feeling triggered.

If you or someone you love needs help with addiction, call (888) 534-2295 today to speak with a treatment specialist.

Building your network to help with staying sober also means having a few trusted people you can call if you find yourself in a situation where triggers abound. This could be a friend, family member, or sponsor. There will be times in life and events where you can’t have your sober buddy in person with you, but knowing there are a few people you can reach out to immediately in an emergency can be vital when it comes to staying sober.

Make a List of Your Intentions for New Years

Resolutions can put a lot of pressure on someone, and you don’t want to add extra stress to your life, as stress can be the main trigger source to someone trying to stay sober. Setting positive intentions can help you move forward with goals but without all the stress. Meditate on things you would like to do, try, get better at, practice more, or see in your life. Set these intentions for the New Year– without a timeframe or strict deadline. When you are out at a New Year’s event or at an activity or event throughout the year that has potential triggers, think about the intentions you set and remind yourself how far you have come and the things you have to look forward to in the future. Keeping your mind focused on these things can help you get past a craving (which typically last about 20 minutes or so), and can help you stay on track when in a challenging environment.

Don’t Leave Room for Alcohol 

Whether it is a New Year’s party, a birthday, a work event, etc., stay vigilant during the event when it comes to your food and drink intake. Always have a non-alcohol drink in hand (which can help you dodge offers of someone getting you a “drink”) and fill your stomach with food so you are full. If you are unsure of what may be available at an event, come prepared with your own snacks and safe beverages.

Steer Clear of Events Filled with People Who Don’t Support You

If you are in recovery and staying sober, you will want to steer clear of activities or events that will be comprised of people who don’t understand or support your sobriety. For example, New Year’s is not the time to head to a party at the pub you used to drink at, as this could be a major trigger. In addition, if old friends who you used to use drugs or alcohol with invite you out, put your sobriety first and say ‘no’. Even if you have the best of intentions to stay sober, putting yourself in highly triggering situations has the potential to take you off the road to recovery that you have worked so hard to be on.

These are just a few tips for staying sober in the New Year. Be sure to check out the blog at Legacy Healing Center for more advice and techniques. If you or someone you love has yet to begin the journey to sobriety, reach out to one of our addiction specialists and learn more about rehab at (888) 534-2295.