As we wind through these festive weeks, it helps to have a go-to list of delightful activities to participate in that have absolutely nothing to do with substance use. Using this strategy during the holiday season may surprise you when you remember the pure beauty found in wholesome forms of entertainment.
Recovery is a mindset – every moment of each day is viewed through the lens of sobriety. Daily decisions must always revolve around the question, “will this activity or that support my recovery or undermine it?” When the choice isn’t so clear-cut, the wise person will check in with a sponsor or a sober friend or seek out a meeting before acting.
Thankfully, with some creative thinking and a commitment to remain in the sober zone during this time of year when temptations abound, it is not only possible to remain dedicated to your sobriety but also discover fantastic new holiday activities in the process.
Google can be your best friend during the season, as a quick search for sober holiday activities in your area will likely return some excellent suggestions to check out, such as annual sober New Year’s Eve parties. But instead of depending solely on organized events to guide you in your quest of seeking sober holiday fun, why not create some new traditions? Here are some ideas to consider:
- Go Carts. K-1 Speed is a blast. Gather a few friends, bring along some appetizers and non-alcoholic holiday beverages, and hit the racetrack. K-1 has 42 locations in a multitude of states. Being sober, you can tear up the track and have a great time.
- Baking party. Invite a bunch of friends over to bake Christmas cookies and holiday treats. Everyone can bring a recipe and take some of the various goodies home at the end of the evening. Be sure to have some festive music playing, and maybe a fire roaring for added ambiance while you bake away.
- Boat parades. Across the country, where there is a body of water, there is likely a holiday boat parade scheduled. Make up a thermos of yummy hot chocolate, bundle up in blankets, and enjoy the lovely displays of Christmas lighting on the boats.
- Go hiking. Organize a group nature hike and bring along a picnic to share. Find a scenic route and hit the trail with your sober buddies. Take some great photos and drink in the beauty of nature along the way.
- Ice skating. If an outdoor hike is impossible in your region, why not hit the public ice skating rink? Many towns have a designated outdoor rink where you can socialize while skating to holiday music.
- Volunteer. If you are looking to fill up your gratitude cup this season, consider the blessings found when you are of service to others less fortunate. It can feel good to serve others, and be uplifting to put a smile on someone’s face. At the same time, it offers an opportunity to take stock and count your own blessings.
- Movie night. Have a group of friends over and binge on the best Christmas movies, one after the other. Have everyone bring a dish to share, so there is plenty to munch on or pick a holiday craft for friends to work during the movie. Since most will have seen the movies multiple times, it is easy to multitask.
- Check out ICYPAA. If you are a young person in recovery, why not check out your local chapter of the International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous. These groups organize sober dances, parties, concerts, and other events that are attractive to younger people.
- Sober Meetups. Check out meetup.com for sober holiday activities and events. Enter “recovery” in the website’s search bar, and you will be greeted by umpteen sober Meetup groups and activities where new friends await.
While the holidays do present some season-specific challenges to individuals in recovery, it can be enlightening to discover how much fun you can have during this festive season without relying on a substance. Happy Holidays!
Ashley Addiction Treatment is an innovative treatment program located on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Ashley provides support for professionals seeking help with addiction. We are able to help people with co-occurring disorders and offer confidential treatment programs to meet your needs. Please reach out to us today at (800) 799-4673.