The holidays are fast approaching! With the celebrations that come during the holidays, here’s how to resist temptation for alcohol during Christmas season.
For most, the approaching holiday season conjures images of cozy fires with hot chocolate, presents, and music. And let’s not forget, big family meals with lots to eat and drink.
But for those of us who struggle with alcohol addiction, the holidays can be a time of immense stress.
You’re looking forward to seeing your extended family, of course. But you know your Uncle Bruce will insist on sharing a traditional holiday cocktail with you. You may also wonder how to tell others about your addiction without making anyone uncomfortable.
If you’re worried about how to resist temptation to drink alcohol this holiday season, fear not. Read on for our expert tips on how to say no during the holidays.
Visualizing Leads to Success
It may sound silly. But imagine yourself arriving at a social event, requesting a non-alcoholic beverage, and having a great night with family and friends.
If you can see it in your mind, it will help you to follow through.
Because you’re the only person who can create success for yourself, you need to believe that you can do it. And visualization is a powerful tool! Start your night by setting the tone in your mind for a positive outcome.
If it helps, practice a script of how you’ll say “no” to people when they offer you alcohol. Rehearsing these words out loud can help them feel more comfortable and easy to say in the moment.
Before you know it, this visualization will become your reality.
Understand the Two Types of Social Pressure
There are two types of social pressure people can experience: indirect and direct. Understanding them will be helpful in conquering them.
Let’s break each of them down:
Indirect Social Pressure
This experience comes simply from being in the presence of others who are drinking, even if no one is offering you alcohol. The strength to resist temptation can weaken even if no direct force is in use.
Direct Social Pressure
This is when a person directly offers you alcohol. It may seem like this would be the more powerful of the two, but both can be equally difficult to cope with.
Know Your Limits to Resist Temptation
Strength comes with time when striving to resist temptation.
But no one is perfect, and recovery happens in different stages. If you know the open bar at your company’s party will cause you to slip, it’s probably not a good idea to go.
It’s more important to stay on track with your recovery than to show up to every holiday event. Make sure you give yourself and your progress number one priority.
Be Honest, When You’re Ready
Aristotle once wrote, “Courage is the first of human virtues because it makes all others possible.”
It can be scary to open up to others about an addiction to alcohol. In reality, being honest with the people you love about your past will take a huge weight off of your shoulders. It will also allow you to enjoy your time with them worry-free.
If you’re not ready to share such personal information or you’re at an event with people you don’t know well, don’t feel pressured to divulge. Offer a polite refusal with direct eye contact and no hesitation. You shouldn’t receive any pushback or feel the need to give a vague explanation.
If you ever do feel like someone is pressuring you, you can always explain that you’re trying to cut back for your health. This way, you don’t need to lie, but you won’t need to go into uncomfortable details.
Distractions can be a great way to eliminate temptation. The great thing about holiday events is they’re full of amazing distractions.
Delicious treats, loved ones, games, presents…and the list goes on. Throw yourself into the holiday spirit and focus on enjoying time with those who are important to you.
You can also distract yourself with the spirit of giving. Because giving to others makes us feel happy, it will be a welcome distraction to your mind and soul.
Use Others to Hold Yourself Accountable
If you have a partner or friend who’s aware of your recovery, use him or her to keep yourself in line.
If they’re going to a holiday event with you, ask for assistance in making sure you resist temptation.
Even if this supportive person isn’t there physically, you can still use honest texts and phone calls as check-ins. Set up specific times for these check-ins to occur and use them to stay on track.
Continue with Supportive Therapies
If you normally attend support groups or treatments programs to resist temptation, the busyness of the holiday season can divert your attention. Don’t let the merriment prevent you from staying on track with your meetings and obligations.
To help with these goals, be sure to keep your mind on the long-term effects and consequences of your actions.
If you’ve been using supportive therapies to help you through your alcohol addiction, don’t put them on hold. Stopping these treatments due to social engagements could have a detrimental effect on your progress.
Keep your eye on the prize and continue attending your meetings and programs. Stay in contact with your sponsor and other supportive friends.
Finding the balance between holiday fun and helpful support will allow you to enjoy the season without losing progress.
Don’t let your addiction prevent you from enjoying this holiday season and other important aspects of your life. Remember to have a practiced plan in place, use support if you have it, and to continue with therapies that work for you.
Also, remember that you’re stronger than you think.
If you have any questions or want to know more about our services, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always here for you!