While many people look forward to St. Patrick’s Day, this holiday can pose many triggers to someone who is a recovering alcoholic. Typically celebrated by indulging in alcohol, this may be one of the most challenging holidays in avoiding a relapse. If you or a loved one have struggled with alcohol addiction, here are some tips to get you through the holiday and keep the triggers at bay.
HOST AN ALCOHOL-FREE GET-TOGETHER
Just because you’re going through recovery, that doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the holiday festivities. Hosting a St. Patricks’s Day themed party with family and friends who support your recovery is vital to offset triggers. Celebrate with your guests by playing games, having good conversation, and providing fun, festive snacks along with your favorite non-alcoholic beverages.
CREATE NEW TRADITIONS
Creating new traditions and ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with family and friends is a healthy approach to remaining sober. For example, make it a tradition to spend St. Patrick’s Day seeing a new play or visiting a museum. Find a new outdoor activity or volunteer for your favorite charity.
STAY AWAY FROM PARADES AND PARTIES
St. Patrick’s Day parades and parties are a dangerous place for a recovering alcoholic to be. If you are invited, simply decline. Attending a parade or party can present too many temptations and triggers that can lead to a relapse. Remind yourself that it’s okay to say “no,” if that means keeping your sobriety that you’ve worked so hard for.
ATTEND A MEETING
Attending a meeting on St. Patrick’s Day can give you the support that you need. Being around others who may also be struggling with staying sober can help you avoid triggers, as well as help you feel like you aren’t alone.
With all the invites to parties and events, it can be overwhelming in making the decision on whether or not you can handle participating and staying sober at the same time. Here are some ways to practice mindfulness:
Listen and be aware of your breathing
Take a peaceful walk
Do something you enjoy with all of your focus
Holidays and other festivities can be stressful for anyone who is trying to remain sober. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, The PAC Program can help. We provide a safe and supportive environment for young men between the ages of 18 and 30.