Holidays are rife with opportunities to use alcohol. If we are to have success in keeping sober throughout the season it is because we have an intentional choice and a plan to keep from using. The idea is to have 5 ways to get in the holiday spirit without the spirits.
Focus on the blessings your recovery gives you.
- It is easy to focus on what is not going very well. You will find it impossible to
get in the holiday spirit if you dwell on negative things. Mentally you can make a decision to change what you think about.
- Start by making a list of the good things in your life. One, you are alive. Two, you have a desire to stay sober, Three, you can still care about others regardless. This is how it goes. Make your list and check it twice. Do not stop until you simply run out of blessings. Keep this list around so you can refer to it throughout the season.
- Find joy in little things
- Many times the big things in life are what we believe will bring joy. I find it rarely true. The things in life bringing joy are the little things, the smile on a grandchild’s face, the little note written from the heart, or a special cookie made just the way you like it.
- Joy is all around you. It takes willing eyes to see all the ways it is expressed. If you
keep your heart open to the potential of a joyous holiday your spirit will be enhanced without the spirits.
- Do something for someone else who needs you
- There are many people less fortunate than you, people who are hungry or homeless. Find a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter and volunteer to serve food or whatever is needed. This selfless act of kindness will return many times what you give.
- If there is someone among your friends or families you could find out what you can do to make their holiday a bit brighter. You will find giving is really better than getting.
- Be in the present this holiday
- Holidays pressure us to reminisce about the past. For those trying to keep clean and sober it is not always the most helpful thing to do. It might be the right time to make a concerted effort to stay in the present. This does not mean you cannot think of anything in the past but rather remember where you are… in the present.
- The past will not change but in the here and now we can make whatever changes we decide upon. If we put efforts into change, we can make things in the present more to our liking. Find just one positive thing you want to do today, think about it and do it. Feel the holiday spirit without the spirit?
- Come to realize the holidays are a time to appreciate one another
- Holiday times can be a time we think of ourselves. What do I want this season? Who will give me something? Why not turn it around? What have people around me done for me already? There are many kindnesses around us if we look.
- Taking time to see the good in people can become an excellent practice. To appreciate someone else by taking a moment to let them know how much you appreciate them. This will help you into the holiday spirit without the spirits.