How to Plan for a Safe New Year’s Eve

When you’re in recovery, no holiday challenges your sobriety quite like New Year’s Eve. The struggle is real, and the temptations are plenty. However, there are ways to resist them. Here are some tips to help you stay sober through the end of the year and beyond.

• It’s easier to combat temptation when you’ve got someone there fighting it alongside you. Ask a close friend or family member if they wouldn’t mind being sober with you this year.
• Know where you’re going. Plan out what you’ll be doing on New Year’s Eve and stick to the plan.
• Remind yourself you’re not missing anything. New Year’s Eve isn’t all about drinking and going off the deep end. While it may look like a lot of fun from afar, you need to remember how much it damaged you in the past.
• Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Don’t approach New Year’s Eve with fear. If you do, you will only set yourself up for failure. Be prepared to forgive yourself if you do fail.
• Prepare for difficult situations. If you are going to a party where there will be alcohol, then you should prepare for if things get tough. Know how you will respond if someone asks you if you want to drink. Practice your response in the days leading up to the event so you’ll be ready. You should also have an escape plan in case the party begins to overwhelm you.
• Attend a support group. Many support groups meet on New Year’s Eve. Some even meet at midnight. Although it may not sound like the most fun way to spend the holiday, you can’t go wrong attending one of these groups to combat temptation.
• Give your sobriety a purpose. Offer to be the designated driver for your drinking friends. You will be a lot less likely to drink when you know that your friends are counting on you to stay sober. Just make sure you know you’re capable of keeping that promise before you make it. You could also offer to watch your friends’ kids or their pets while they’re out partying. Knowing you’re performing a valuable service while sober will help you feel better about not drinking.
• Be healthy over the holidays. Be sure to eat well and get enough sleep in the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve. This way, once the big day gets here, you’ll feel good about yourself and be less likely to turn to your old addiction to make yourself feel better.
• Reward yourself on New Year’s Day. Incentivize yourself to stay sober by creating a reward you’ll get to enjoy New Year’s Day.

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