With New Year’s Eve around the corner, it’s hard not to think about the upcoming year, and plans surrounding the festive night. It can be difficult to plan a sober evening around a holiday that is so often framed as a partying scene filled with alcohol and other substances not conducive to someone living a sober life.
We’ve put together a game plan for a successful evening below, and we encourage everyone living sober lives to develop their own plan for New Year’s Eve.
Creating a Game Plan for a Successful, Sober Evening
1. Surround Yourself with Sober Friends
Celebrating the New Year with friends you once used with may not be the best idea for your sobriety, and while there are few things harder than making new friends, distancing yourself from the old ones who will hinder your sobriety rather than encourage it is likely in your best interest. Solidify your night’s plans in advance so that you don’t feel pressured to hang with your old crew.
2. Find a Local Event
Of course, this tip seems obvious, but have you thought creatively about activities that would be fun to seek out that aren’t alcohol-centered? Depending on where you live, here are few ideas that aren’t necessarily ‘alcohol-centered’, yet it’s important to keep in mind your own triggers.
- Ice Skating: Here in Portland, Maine the new Thompson’s Point ice skating rink opened and we can assure you, it’s a blast. Check out more information on it here: http://www.therinkatthompsonspoint.com/ (the rink will close a bit earilier than 9:00 p.m. on the night of New Year’s Eve).
- Seeing a Concert: Music is the best therapy and can help launch you into a fun and sober night without even thinking about it. On New Year’s Eve in Portland The Ghost of Paul Revere will be playing at the State Theater. Get tickets here: http://www.statetheatreportland.com/event/999613-ghost-paul-revere-lady-lamb-portland/
- Bowling: Bowling is always a great option for people who want to have a fun time without drinking. Check out Bayside Bowl for their New Year’s Eve schedule: http://www.baysidebowl.com/
- Seeing a Movie: 2015 has been a great year for movies! New Year’s Eve would be a great time to take advantage of a movie-seeing spree as the theaters will likely be empty.
- Mocktail Party: Invite your friends over and come up with a theme (black tie, masquerade, etc.).
3. Bring Your Own Supplies
Fill a nalgene will your favorite non-alcoholic drink (OJ with sparkling water, soda, whatever!) and carry it around with you. Bring 5 full packs of gum and keep one in your car and one in your back pocket. If you ever have the urge for a substance you shouldn’t be indulging in, take a break and refer to your own supplies.
4. Come Up With a Plan
If you’re at all feeling uncomfortable in your surroundings, have a plan prepared to get you back in the right place. The list below might work for you:
- Remove yourself from the situation
- Retreat to a place you feel safe
- Make a phone call to a loved one or a sponsor. A list of recovery hotlines are available here http://therecoverybook.com/find-a-recovery-meeting/
5. Remind Yourself How Great It Is To Be Sober
There’s no better feeling than knowing that you are healthy and sober. Consistently reminding yourself of this fact may seem trivial and obvious, but it’s ultimately powerful. Being grateful for your sobriety will lessen your chances of making a decision that could hurt your sobriety.
6. Movie Marathon
Get cozy at home either by yourself, or with some friends, and watch some of your favorite flicks! Pick up a couple of movies at Redbox, or watch something on Netflix (check out the new releases for December here). Don’t feel like just because it’s New Year’s Eve, you have to succumb to the pressure - staying in can be just as fun… especially when you have Pinterest to help you out!