Need some extra reasons not to drink or use this holiday season? We’ve got you covered with these 9 benefits of staying sober. Print out the list and hang it up at home, keep it in your purse or pocket when you go out, or just take a mental note to remind yourself why you’re not giving into the urge this season.
1. No Embarrassing Behavior
Drinking and using too much can bring out our wild side. Skip the table dancing at the company party, the brawl at the bar, passing out at the parents’ house or the number of other embarrassing things we do when intoxicated and celebrate the dignity of maintaining control this year. Your future self will thank you!
2. Build Your Confidence in Your Ability to Pass Up Drugs and Alcohol
Take on the challenge of saying no during this time of indulgence. This experience of not giving into urges will set you up with a framework for success the next time you’re faced with a choice of giving in or staying sober. Use this time to flex your confidence and show yourself you can stay sober (because you definitely can!).
3. Connect With Family
Sure, we get it if you’re not exactly looking forward to heading home for the holidays, for many of us, family is a sore subject. But you can still use this time to connect with others and maybe build/re-build some relationships. What about that cousin you’ve never really gotten to know? Or your sister who you haven’t really seen? Now that you’re sober, you have the mental capacity to ask some thoughtful questions and really listen to their answers. It’s worth a try and who knows, you just might walk away excited about the spark of a new connection.
4. Head Into the New Year With a Healthy Start
Many of us have done years of damage to our bodies and now we’re finally nurturing ourselves and healing from all that drinking and using. The holiday season is no reason to take a break from self-care. Not using and drinking gives our body a break and allows us to start off the new year right.
5. A Holiday to Remember
How many holidays can you really remember? The increased drinking and using during this time of year makes it easy to go overboard and blackout. Make this year one to remember by deciding not to drink or use, and allow yourself a chance to collect some special memories.
6. No Guilt
If drinking and using brought you feelings of shame and guilt, this could be a strong motivator not to give into the addictive behavior. If you don’t give in, you won’t have to face the consequence of feeling disappointed in yourself. Make a choice you know you’ll feel great about and leave the guilt behind.
7. No Hangover
If you don’t drink or use, you don’t have to worry about those nasty hangovers or comedowns which can be a nasty followup to holiday fun. If you’re tempted to imbibe, think a few steps ahead and picture the next day spent hungover or coming down. Skip the alcohol and drugs and treat yourself to something fun the next day instead.
8. No DUI
This one is a no-brainer. Nobody wants to be in trouble with the law, and it’s no secret that the holiday season is the peak season for DUIs. Avoid being a statistic by not even putting yourself in that situation in the first place. If you don’t get drunk or high, you can’t drive while under the influence.
9. Be a Good Role Model for the Kids
Whether you have your own or are around someone else’s, be a positive influence on the kids this year. They are likely surrounded by adults who are celebrating and in the party spirit, show them what it looks like to have fun without alcohol and drugs.
Whatever your motivation is for staying sober this holiday, remember that while you can’t control temptation, you can control your response to it. Stay the course and commit to getting through temptation without giving in because recovery really is the best gift you can give yourself!