Whilst millions of us look forward to the endless parties and social occasions that Christmas so often brings, for anyone battling an alcohol addiction this can be an incredibly challenging time of year.
Whether this time of year makes you feel lonely, the financial pressures are getting to you or you feel left out watching everyone else enjoying their favourite tipple, here are some great tips to help stay sober over Christmas.
* If sobriety is new to you or is something you struggle with, then your safest bet is to avoid parties altogether. Although it’s not nice to feel like you’re missing out, not attending one party is far less traumatic than falling off the wagon.
* Host your own alcohol-free party. Friends and family will do everything they can to offer you extra support at this time of year and there’s no reason why you have to miss out just because you don’t drink. Ask your loved ones to join you for a gathering where nobody drinks and that way you can still enjoy the festivities without being surrounded by temptation.
* Remind yourself why you’re doing this. Aside from your own health and wellbeing, chances are that you wanted to get sober for someone or something else. Perhaps it’s your job, partner, family or children - whatever your reasons, keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this and why it’s so important to stay strong.
* Seek extra counselling. Battling an addiction is hard work and there are going to be times when it feels particularly difficult. If Christmas is causing you to experience temptation, don’t be afraid to ask for extra help during this time. If you already see a counsellor then ask for extra sessions or if you don’t normally speak to someone, book yourself an appointment. Your GP will also be able to help and there are also many support groups out there with people you can talk to who are feeling exactly the same as you.
* Form new habits. Association is one of the hardest parts of battling an addiction. For example, if every Christmas Eve you join friends in a pub for a few drinks, it’s going to be really hard not to do this. Ask to move the location to a restaurant or a Christmas market where there’s something to do other than drink. Alternatively, make new plans with a completely different group of people and form new traditions that aren’t going to leave you feeling tempted.
If you have an alcohol addiction and would like extra support over Christmas, please feel free to contact Life Works and we will be more than happy to help.