We can get carried away in the excitement of New Year’s celebrations. The passage of one year to the next is marked by the possibility of a fresh start and imbued with incredible meaning. For those struggling with addiction, it’s an opportunity to have a sober New Year and carry healthy habits forward.
At GateHouse Treatment, we understand that it’s easier to say than to do. This is why we’ve compiled some healthy, fun options to spend a sober New Year’s and keep yourself accountable
1. Go Bowling
Some places stay open during New Year’s, particularly for events. Doing something that keeps you busy and is still enjoyable can do a lot to stem any cravings. A popular example of this is bowling. Many bowling alleys across the United States hold events that let you begin the New Year with a strike and, hopefully, not a gutter ball. Instead of heading to a bar or another place that can trigger your addiction, gather a group of friends and family and head to the bowling alley for a sober New Year.
2. Check Out a Comedy Show
Comedy clubs across the United States host New Year’s events that continue even when the clock strikes 12. The good thing about these shows is that comedians highly covet New Year’s spots, so you can expect to see legitimately funny top talent instead of college kids trying it for the first time. These require ticket purchases and therefore do not have a mandatory drink minimum. Consider ordering a soda, water, and food instead and starting the sober New Year with hours of laughter
3. Go Volunteering
The Holiday season pushes us to be selfless and give back. Few things are more nourishing than volunteering. Doing something positive, not for yourself but for those who need it the most, can fill you with indescribable joy and purpose. Food banks, soup kitchens, and toy drives will open in your area.
You’ll meet incredible people who dedicate themselves to causes that few ever think about, much less actively trying to change. If you want a sober New Year but feel the unparalleled elation of extending help, consider gathering a squad and volunteering. This is also one of the activities that you can do alone while remaining social. It might be a life-changing experience.
4. Go Camping
Nature has a way of soothing us, particularly when we are alone amidst it. Walt Whitman said: “A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” Its majesty makes our problems feel small and contextualizes the struggles we have been experiencing.
If you figured out a way to keep yourself warm or the weather is suitable, head out for the great outdoors alone. Experience the passing of time underneath the stars, reflecting on all the good in your life and the universe. Bring along a meal you enjoy, any preferred way of entertainment, and plenty of blankets. You can also take a few loved ones if they want a unique experience heading into the new year. Regardless of your decision, this will be a controlled and calm environment where you will be away from your addiction and ensure a sober new year.
5. Attend a Sober New Year’s Party
Many local organizations host parties and meetings for people looking to have a sober New Year’s Day. If your friend group struggles with addiction or if you feel pressure to get away from your addiction triggers, these are fantastic places to keep up your social life while having fun. You will be surrounded by supportive people who understand what you are going through and are looking to have a sober New Year’s themselves.
Both Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (AA) host parties or meetings throughout the holidays that can help you stay on mission and avoid the pitfalls of addiction. Look for them in your local area, and you won’t regret it.
6. Organize a Party
When discussing having a sober New Year’s day, what we are discussing is control. Controlling your environment, the people, the food, the drinks, and your comfort with the space in which you decide to party all matter in staying free of cravings. There is no easier way to exercise control than by planning how you will do it.
When you organize a party, you are the master and commander of the atmosphere. You may designate drinking areas or choose not to have any. You can set a space aside for yourself in case you get overwhelmed. You can choose who will attend based on whether they will be respectful of your condition, and you can mandate that attendance is BYOB and guests must leave with whatever drink they attended. Either way, you will be in control of your sober New Year.
7. Run a 5k
You read that right. New Year’s races are organized all over cities in the United States. Some are in person, some are virtual, and all are very fun to attend. Consider a race if you genuinely want to push yourself and feel the endorphin rush of exercise and the silly glee of doing something unorthodox. Not only will it impress people, but it will also ensure a sober new year. Talk to your fitness-minded friends to see if they are interested in participating with you.
8. Rely on Your Support System
When all else fails, or you feel you have enough control over your addiction to attend whatever celebration or dance party you are interested in, it might be wise to lean on those who love you the most. Do you have people intimately familiar with what you are going through? Close friends who honestly care about your well-being and want to see you have a sober New Year?
Ask them to accompany you or join in on their preexisting plans. Before the night’s events, discuss what you hope to accomplish with them. Keep in mind that you are not a burden to them but an addition to their already wonderful night. Tell them not to offer you drinks or anything else that might set off your addiction and be there for you if the cravings become intense. It is the season for giving back, and your friends or family will be more than happy to be there for you just as you have been there for them.
GateHouse Treatment Makes a Difference
Whatever you might be going through, we can help you have a sober New Year’s day and remain sober. We offer a personalized plan, including sober homes, recovery facilities, and outpatient treatment.
If you or your loved one needs help, never hesitate to reach out. Our team of experts offers 24/7 assistance. Pick up the phone and call (855) 448-3588 to speak to us. Here’s to a sober New Year’s and many more to come.