For many, New Year’s Eve is a day filled with friends, family, fun and parties. For people in early sobriety from drug and alcohol abuse, New Year’s is generally the last day of a stressful season filled with uncomfortable situations and the need to be vigilant at all times since temptations are, seemingly, never-ending.
The secret for a successful (meaning clean and sober) New Year’s Eve and Day is preparation. As the Boy Scouts have long said: Be prepared.
Here are our top 4 tips for a Sober and Clean 2016:
1. Put yourself first
You need to be your top priority. This means getting plenty of rest and sleep, eating healthy foods, saying “no” to as much as possible and not over-committing. Take care of yourself and your own needs before any else’s.
2. Stick to your schedule
With everyone off from work and school, stores and restaurants closed or holding different hours, and new people around your environment and life can feel unpredictable and chaotic. To counteract this, keep, as much as possible, to your schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time (or near the same time) as you usually do; go to your 12-step meetings or other appointments, the gym and whatever else you normally schedule. Try to make sure your day has touchstones of normalcy so you can feel more like yourself and not completely off-kilter.
3. Have an exit strategy
Decide how long you’re going to stay at a party or event and have an exit plan at the ready in case things don’t go as you thought. Follow your instincts. If something starts to feel bad, leave immediately. Make sure you have a ride or an Uber account set up so you’re not trapped anywhere.
Have a non-alcoholic drink with you at all times. This way people aren’t constantly offering you a drink at parties or events and you don’t have to keep resisting temptation over and over. Bring Your Own Soda (BYOS) to wherever you go – you’ll be able to feel social while still keeping yourself safe.
If you think you or someone you know has a drug or alcohol problem call a local drug and alcohol treatment center for help or contact New Bridge Foundation and ask for a free assessment.