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Navigating Thanksgiving: Tips for Sober Celebrations

A family together for a special meal, possibly celebrating a holiday or a reunion

The holiday season is upon us, and Thanksgiving marks a time of year filled with family gatherings, festive meals, and grateful celebrations. For many, this season is a joyous one. However, for those with substance use disorders, the holiday season can be fraught with temptations and challenges. Del Arroyo Recovery Center understands these challenges and is dedicated to supporting your journey to stay sober during the holidays.

Here are some essential tips for staying sober and navigating the Thanksgiving table:

  1. Communicate with Family and Friends: Before attending family gatherings, talk to your family members about your journey to sobriety. This proactive approach can help set the stage for understanding and support.
  2. BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage): Arrive with a non-alcoholic drink you enjoy. This ensures you have something festive to sip on and minimizes the chances of unintentionally picking up an alcoholic drink.
  3. Focus on Food: Enjoy the culinary delights of Thanksgiving. Fill your plate with your favorite dishes and let the meal be a distraction from any alcohol being served.
  4. Have a Sober Friend: Having a sober friend by your side at holiday parties can be a great support system. They can offer encouragement and understanding and even provide a reason to leave early if the situation becomes too overwhelming.
  5. Plan an Exit Strategy: If the temptation becomes too strong or if you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to leave early. Prioritize your well-being and sobriety above all.
  6. Create a Response Strategy: Rehearse responses for when someone might ask “Why aren’t you drinking?” A simple “I’m taking a break from alcohol” or “I’m focusing on my health” usually suffices.
  7. Plan Alcohol-Free Activities: Consider hosting a sober celebration or spend time indulging in hobbies and activities that don’t involve alcohol.
  8. Find Support: 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups can be invaluable during this time of year. They offer a space of understanding and camaraderie.
  9. Focus on Gratitude: Remember the reasons you chose sobriety and the benefits it brings. Use this holiday to reflect on the things you are grateful for, including your journey to recovery.
  10. Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter: Spend time this season giving back. Volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and remind you of the reasons you chose sobriety. It can also be a way to avoid relapse triggers present in certain environments.
  11. Prioritize Self-Care: The holiday season can be stressful. Taking time for self-care can help you manage stress and stay focused on your sobriety.
  12. Seek Professional Help: If you feel the urge to drink becoming overwhelming, seek professional help immediately. It’s okay to ask for assistance; your journey to recovery doesn’t have to be taken alone.

Remember, staying sober during the holidays is a commendable effort, and it’s okay to seek support when needed. Whether it’s from family and friends, support groups, or a dedicated team like the one at Del Arroyo Recovery Center, there are many avenues available to you.

Del Arroyo Recovery Center: Your Partner in Recovery

roasted turkey with vegetables and herbs is a traditional dish for thanksgiving or christmas day

Del Arroyo’s innovative addiction treatment programs combine evidence-based medicine with proven behavioral therapies. Our goal is to empower you with the tools and support you need for long-term recovery from alcohol addiction and drug addiction.

At our foothill retreat in beautiful Agoura Hills, California, we provide a tranquil environment for those seeking recovery. Here, amid luxury amenities in a warm, welcoming setting, you can focus solely on your recovery journey.

Our dedicated team, including licensed medical staff members and therapists, collaboratively creates personalized treatment plans, tailoring them to your unique needs and goals.

Staying sober during the holidays can be challenging, but, with the right support and resources, you can navigate the Thanksgiving table and enjoy a sober celebration. Always remember, your well-being and recovery come first, and Del Arroyo Recovery Center is here to help every step of the way.

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