Josh Chandler | December 14, 2023

Staying Sober During Christmas

Is staying sober during Christmas difficult? It doesn’t have to be. With Muse’s sobriety tips for the holidays, you can keep your recovery plan on track. The holiday season can indeed pose challenges for people who are striving to live alcohol and drug-free lives. Holiday stress of one sort or another can be a powerful trigger to use, but when you plan and tackle your stress head-on, you can minimize discomfort and find ways to enjoy the holiday season sober. 

Muse Treatment is a leading addiction treatment center that’s known for its personalized care. We offer inpatient and outpatient treatment as well as dual diagnosis treatment, medical detox, and medication-assisted treatment. We combine evidence-based therapy with holistic treatments to ensure that clients get support for their mind, body, and spirit. By targeting each aspect of the addiction as well as overall health, we’re able to help clients build back stronger than ever so they can transform their lives and future for the better.   


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The Challenge of Maintaining Sobriety During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time for celebration–and traditional celebrations often involve booze. Simply put, that’s one of the most challenging aspects of the holiday season for people who are recovering from a substance use disorder. It can be tough to stay away from alcohol when it’s seemingly everywhere. When you walk into a social gathering, one of the first questions you might be asked is, “Would you like a drink?” Replying in the negative might seem rude or require an explanation you don’t feel like giving.

Of course, the holidays may involve other stresses too. Meeting with family can be highly stressful for some individuals. Social events aren’t always positive events for everyone. The holiday season may involve financial stress or emotional stress. Many people feel lonely during the holiday. Stress breeds negative emotions, and negative emotions are the harbingers of relapse. By managing stress and negative emotions in healthful ways, you can protect your recovery progress. 

Understanding the Temptations of the Festive Season

Social gatherings during the holidays are a time when people seem to drink or party more than at other times during the year. You may attend parties where alcohol is everywhere. That can be a serious temptation, especially if you’re in the early phases of your recovery. 

People in recovery need to identify possible temptations so they can avoid them or employ strategies to cope with them effectively. Coping with holiday triggers successfully and steering clear of unwelcome temptations when you can help make the festive season more enjoyable–and less fraught with apprehension and discomfort.

Planning a Sober Christmas: Tips and Strategies

sobriety tips for the holidays

It’s important to take charge of your holiday recovery plan. A simple strategy to cope with holiday stress is to feel empowered to choose which strategies you want to employ to deal with expected holiday stressors. If you’re concerned about being near a bar, simply don’t attend social gatherings where there’s a bar. Make alternative plans to meet friends and family if the idea of a party isn’t something you’re prepared to cope with at this point in your recovery process. 

Consider employing multiple strategies to maintain your sober Christmas. Schedule appointments with your therapist or be sure to attend aftercare programming. Choose not to see friends or family who trigger negative emotions or stress this holiday season. Minimize contact with people who have historically been triggers for you to use alcohol or drugs. 

Also, make sober-friendly plans. Consider hosting a sober social gathering or planning activities that do not involve drinking. Finally, be sure to take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and eat well. When you take care of your own needs, you’re apt to feel less stress, which will benefit your continued recovery journey during the holiday season. 

The Role of Support Systems in Holiday Sobriety

As the holiday season fast approaches, make plans to spend time with supportive family and friends. Maybe you have a mentor or close friend who understands what you’re going through at this point in your recovery journey. Schedule attendance at support groups in the area or make an appointment to meet with your therapist to get help maintaining your recovery. There’s no need to endure the challenges of the season on your own. Visit Muse for support and to ward off relapse. 

Navigating Social Events and Festivities without Alcohol

As you learn in rehab, you don’t need alcohol to have fun or unwind. There are other strategies you can use to enjoy the holidays. It’s important to carefully consider which social events to attend. You may want to avoid parties, for example, and focus on quieter celebrations. You can also bring your beverages to parties if you’re concerned about being offered alcohol. 

You can get help navigating the holiday festivities by attending Muse treatment sessions. Clinicians can partner with you to find strategies for enjoying the holidays without alcohol. It’s important to rely on clinicians who can guide you toward lasting recovery. 


24/7 support availability,
start your recovery today!


Self-Care and Stress Management During the Holidays

It’s crucial to take care of yourself during the festive season. If you don’t feel good mentally or physically, you may become more vulnerable to relapse. Eating poorly or not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling stressed. Stress is a common relapse trigger. By caring for your own basic needs, you can reduce stress and more effectively protect your hard-won sobriety. 

Be sure to take time to relax during the holidays and do things that bring you joy. Exercise, read, craft, or visit with friends. Caring for yourself is a key aspect of recovery. Make a plan to care for your own needs and reduce holiday stress even if it means you spend the holidays quite differently from previous years. 

Celebrating the Benefits of a Sober Holiday Season

The holidays are a special time for many. However, they can be challenging for people too. If you’re feeling holiday stress, it may be helpful to consider the benefits of experiencing the holiday season sober. These holidays can be markers of a new way of living. You can spend them with people who support your goal of lasting sobriety. You can use the time to repair relationships or practice the stress management strategies you learned in rehab. 

Remember that the main benefits of staying sober relate to your health. You can safeguard your mental and physical health when you maintain your recovery progress. You can also embrace new traditions that support your sober lifestyle. 

How Muse Treatment Supports Your Sobriety Journey 

Muse Treatment can help you achieve your long-term recovery goals with our full range of substance abuse treatment programs. Our inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are customized for each client. Whatever level of support you need, we can provide it. If you are struggling over the holidays, visit us so we can help you manage your triggers and stay sober. 

A substance use disorder is chronic, but you can manage it successfully when you avoid using drugs and alcohol. Our holiday coping strategies can support you as you face the holidays and the new year ahead. Don’t wait to get help. Contact us so we can customize a recovery plan for you. 


Addiction Treatment Center,Sober Living,Treatment,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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