For many people, New Year’s Eve is one of the booziest times of the year. When you’re in recovery, being that close to alcohol can be especially hard to deal with, particularly because so many New Year’s Eve parties put alcohol front and center. While many festivities do involve indulging in alcohol, you do not need to drink to have a good time. If you’re looking to stay sober this holiday, try these New Year’s drinking alternatives to ring in the new year.
Take a Vacation or Staycation
Many people may worry that staying at home can lead to temptation. If you feel the same way, take a short trip out of town to remove yourself from feeding your impulses. In fact, you don’t have to go far, and leaving town doesn’t have to break the bank. Most cities offer affordable accommodations and you can drive to a spot nearby instead of taking a flight. If you’re in a warmer climate, try outdoor activities like hiking or camping. In a colder area? Just drive to the next town over and explore some new venues.
In the event that leaving town isn’t an option, you can try the next best thing: a staycation! Relax by having a spa night, streaming your favorite TV show, or just catch up on some sleep. Whatever you decide, changing up your routine can take your mind off of partying on New Year’s and help you stay alcohol-free.
Host a Movie or Board Game Night
Invite some friends over to play board games or watch a movie. Being in recovery during the holidays can be trying, so if you know other people who are struggling, try to include them in your night to give them a little extra help during the holidays. Classic games include Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, charades, and Cards Against Humanity. If you’re not one for games, just invite some friends over and watch a fun movie!
Attend an “Alkathon” or “Narcathon”
Not all parties have to revolve around alcohol. In fact, alkathons and narcathons aim for the complete opposite. These marathon meetings hosted by local AAs and NAs often feel more like parties than group meetings. They often convene during the holidays, especially the ones that often revolve around booze.
Alkathons often last for at least 24 hours, but check with your local AA or NA for exact details. These meetings are perfect New Year’s drinking alternatives—they provide a safe place for recovering addicts to find companionship and spend the holidays sober.
Find Local Activities to Attend
Many towns host events on New Year’s Eve. You can find live shows, including comedy shows and concerts, as well as an array of other activities such as ice skating and holiday fairs. Alternatively, make a dinner reservation and center your night around the meal. Most places also put on a fireworks show, so even if nothing else is happening in your area, you may be able to count on a show.
Above All Else, Stay Prepared
If you do go to a party, stick to non-alcoholic beverages to ensure that you stay sober. In this situation, it’s best to be prepared. If you’re going out, order a soda or a virgin version of your favorite drink. Decide what to drink beforehand to lessen the pressure, and stick to that drink the entire night. If you’re going to a house party, bring your own supplies so you’re not tempted to by the selection there. Make sure to tell people that you’re not drinking, so they can be prepared and hold you accountable.
While going out is certainly an option, do be aware that it is definitely easier to fall into old patterns and behaviors if you’re around the people and events that contributed to your drinking. If possible, look for New Year’s drinking alternatives to stop a relapse from occurring
Get Help During the Holidays in Columbus, Ohio
There is no shame in seeking help for your addiction. If you want to make real, long-term progress, then now is the time to seek professional treatment. Our Ohio hospital will give you the skills and tools you need to move forward and lead a healthy, happy life.