How to Stay Sober for Thanksgiving

man and a woman enjoy their sober thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving coming up, now is the best time to create a personal strategy that helps you stay clean and enjoy a sober Thanksgiving. If celebrations are a trigger for you, you need to consider how you will navigate the holiday and avoid temptations that could lead to a relapse. Thanks to the experts here at Summit Detox, there are several ways to stay sober during Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays.

First, remember everything you learned about overcoming substance abuse in your addiction rehab program. Your therapist helped you learn skills that combat alcohol addiction in all situations. What you learned in rehab provides a starting point for what you will think and how you will act during Thanksgiving. By having a sober thanksgiving, you can create positive memories that will last a lifetime.

Start New Patterns

If you stop drinking but continue your old patterns, your risk of relapse is high. Think about the place you went, the people you shared time with, and the ways that you acted in previous. If you continue the same patterns you have in previous holidays, you create a platform for drinking or retaking drugs. So, try to start new customs and traditions that are far removed from your past behaviors.

Know Your Triggers

Triggers are adverse emotional reactions to familiar people, places, objects, or situations. Common triggers associated with addiction include:

  • HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)
  • Stress
  • Overconfidence
  • Mental health issues
  • Social isolation
  • Social situations

Emotions can range from sadness and stress to nostalgia and euphoria. Triggers that you identified in your individual therapy program do not go away just because you completed rehab. The difference is that you know what they are and how to manage them.

Avoid Certain Activities

What activities or events do you need to stay away from this year to have a sober Thanksgiving? Instead of testing your recovery limits, avoid temptation by marking these activities off your list of things to do. They may be parties where alcohol is present. They can also include staying away from certain people who trigger your emotions. If avoiding certain activities means being alone at Thanksgiving, then try to find activities where the temptation to relapse does not exist.

Create a Support Network

You can never have enough support when trying to maintain sobriety. Take a moment to create a support network. Contact may include:

  • Your therapist
  • Family
  • Support groups
  • Alumni program mentor

Find people who are available and willing to talk or meet with you when you feel vulnerable. When creating your list, speak with your contact before Thanksgiving so that you can count on them when you need them. If you have difficulty finding a support network, speak with someone from your substance abuse treatment program.

Reduce Your Stress and Anxiety

Holidays are not always fun. There can be a lot of stress when planning events, shopping for supplies, or even hanging out with difficult family members. Choosing to relax this year may be the one thing that helps you enjoy a sober Thanksgiving. Volunteering to help is always a good idea. However, do not stress yourself out by taking on too many responsibilities. Learn to delegate and share the load.

Stay in Control of Your Situations

You can’t control everything that happens during Thanksgiving. However, you can maintain control of your own life. For instance, provide your own transportation when going to events to make a quick if necessary. Create your schedule and decide who you will spend time with. Controlling your holiday reduces the chance of an unplanned situation that could lead to relapse.

Enjoy a Sober Thanksgiving from Summit Detox

With the right treatment and a solid plan, you can enjoy a sober Thanksgiving this year instead of falling back into alcohol addiction. We can help. If you need help with addiction, contact Summit Detox at 866.341.0638 or contact us at your earliest convenience. We offer comprehensive treatment at our drug and alcohol addiction center in Florida.

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