Party season comes around quickly and most businesses up and down the country will already have their Christmas parties booked in. For some, it’s an exciting time, the chance to let your hair down and enjoy a beer or glass of wine or two. For others, it can be a time fuelled by anxiety and dread.
That’s often the case for non drinkers, particularly non drinkers who have been required to get help with addiction and are now in recovery.
That’s largely because we see our colleagues daily, we don’t often know a whole heap about them, especially when it comes to more personal matters. Is it anyone’s business that you or I have been to a mental health clinic London or through alcohol rehab. Probably not, but it can help when it comes to party season in avoiding the pressures and temptations of a drink.
So, whether it’s your first sober party season or 20th, here are five tips for staying sober during what is the most difficult time of year for many…
Tell your colleagues prior to party time
It can be difficult to reveal something so deeply personal about yourself. But ripping that plaster off and letting your colleagues know really could save you from what could be a night of hell that reverberates across the rest of your life.
Letting people know you are sober ahead of a particular event will do a couple of things. Firstly, they will be more accomodating with the event itself. So perhaps it wouldn’t be organised in a bar, or they would also ensure there were non-alcoholic options.
You could even aid in finding sober activities
What’s more, you could even have a larger say in activities, both with friends and work. If you’re seeing friends over party season, why not suggest some activities that don’t involve alcohol.
For example, you may want to go on a crafting course or for a night of bowling. In the workplace, many businesses have dedicated teams for organising the social events. Join the team and have your say on what activities should be enjoyed. After all, you may not be the only person in the business that is sober either.
Bring your own drinks
If you’re wanting to be extra careful, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing your own drinks, or ensuring you don’t get into any rounds with people that are consuming alcohol. There are plenty of great non-alcoholic beers and cocktails around these days. You’ll feel like you’re fitting in, without touching a drop of the hard stuff.
Give yourself breathing space
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been sober, it could become overwhelming at any point, especially at this time of year and in environments surrounded by alcohol. Ensure you have a place to escape to, whether it’s taking five minutes outside or finding a space away from everyone to just gather your thoughts.
Speaking to superiors ahead of the event can help with this if it’s a work event, while you may just need to ask for the understanding and support of friends or colleagues too.
Get your support system in place
You will have a support system in place already if you’ve gone through the recovery process, and it’s at this time of year where they really can be vital. Let them know what you have coming up and speak out about any anxieties you have.
Your support system will be able to draw on previous experiences to offer advice, while they will be there during any times of need that you may have where it could get overwhelming.
In every case, it’s about being honest and open with both yourself and others to get you through what may be a difficult time. But, if you are strong and have everything in place, it may also be a fun time too, completely free of alcohol.