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Five Strategies for Avoiding Binge Drinking During the Holidays

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Is binge drinking part of your holiday tradition?  It can be hard to spend the holidays sober after years of binge drinking, but remember that your recovery and your hard work are worth it!

The holidays are supposed to be a pleasant time of year, but for many people they can be entirely too stressful, and rightfully so. Alcoholics in recovery especially can struggle during this season with binge drinking and relapse. For most Americans, alcohol is a part of the holidays. It is set out at parties and family gatherings, advertised on TV, made to look desirable in movies, and special seasonal displays full of booze are set up in stores. There are, however, five strategies that can make this season a little easier and more enjoyable for someone struggling with the temptations to binge drink.

How to Avoid Binge Drinking And Relapse

The first thing you should do is identify and write a list of reasons you don’t want to drink alcohol this holiday season. After you write the list, keep it somewhere safe so it won’t be tossed out with the garbage. If temptation occurs, pull the list out and contemplate each reason carefully.

Don’t feel pressured to go to parties, even if they’re thrown by your family, if you feel the least bit apprehensive that you may be tempted into binge drinking. If you think you may slip up and drink, it may be best not to go. Just listen to your heart and trust your inner voice.  Your health and your recovery are more important than a holiday dinner or a night of binge drinking.

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Try not to be alone. Being alone can provoke negative memories and emotions, especially during the holidays. If you prefer to be alone, try to get out of the house! Stay active by taking a scenic walk, hitting the mall for some window shopping, or seeing a funny holiday movie. If you’re snowed in, call a supportive friend or your sponsor for a nice chat.

If what you miss is simply the act of having a drink, give yourself a new holiday tradition.  Make a specialty non-alcoholic drink that everyone can get excited about. This is especially handy if you do decide to attend parties with family and friends. Cranberry mint spritzers, warm cinnamon cider, and creamy non-alcoholic eggnog are delicious possibilities that will satisfy that fixation to socially sip instead of tempt you into binge drinking.

Lastly, believe in yourself and realize how amazingly strong you are. This can be easier said than done, but reading this article is proof that you have a wealth of insight and you plan on using it to stay sober this holiday season. There will be temptation, and you know that. Luckily, you know the steps and have the tools to combat binge drinking.

Enjoy this holiday season the right way: stay strong and don’t stray from what you know is right.

Many women struggle with staying sober during the holidays.  It can be particularly tempting to enjoy a drink with family or to participate in family events with alcohol.  Remember that there is never a safe amount to drink when you are in recovery.  Binge drinking or drinking even just one drink can put your recovery at risk.  If you do face challenges and take a step back, seek help right away.  Recognizing and admitting you have relapsed does not mean you have failed, it just indicates a small setback.  Keep that setback small and seek help immediately to get yourself back on track.  If you or a woman you love is suffering alcohol abuse problems, such as binge drinking, please call us today.  Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service addiction and women’s health treatment facility in Florida for women who suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health issues.

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