How to Stay Sober during holidays

Why Do Americans Drink More on Holidays? How to Stay Sober?

You’ve made it through the fall and winter holidays, but now you have to face the next round of spring and summer holidays. But in reality, drinking during holidays never really stops. Right after New Year’s, there’s Super Bowl Sunday, Mardis Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and that’s just naming a few! It seems like there’s always a reason to drink and celebrate. 

While having a drink or two on a special occasion isn’t a problem for some people, those in early recovery must refrain. This can be difficult at first, which is why it’s important to find pleasurable activities to pass the time. But have you ever wondered why drinking and the holidays go hand in hand? 

It’s True…Americans Double Their Drinking During the Holidays 

If you’ve ever felt like alcohol kicks up during the holidays, it’s not your imagination. A recent study found that the average American sees a 100% increase in their alcohol drinking habits between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. 

However, it’s not just the winter holidays that have people drinking more. Outside of December, summer is the biggest season for drinking. The summer months are full of socializing and downtime, so it’s an invitation to kick back and relax with a drink in hand. 

So, it’s true that the holidays are inextricably tied to the consumption of alcohol. From St. Patrick’s Day to Fourth of July to Thanksgiving, alcohol is a staple at most celebrations and festivities. 

Why Do Americans Drink More on the Holidays? 

Why is it that the holidays and alcohol go hand in hand? There are a few reasons for this. First, many people have time off work during the holidays so they’re able to catch up with friends and family over drinks. It’s much easier to go out drinking when you don’t have to wake up early for work. 

Second, some people drink more over the holidays because of increased family stress or stress in general. Even for those without an alcohol use disorder, alcohol can still be used to numb feelings and relieve tension. Lastly, there are lots of traditions that call for indulgence. The more accessible alcohol is, the easier it is to drink. 

How to Stay Sober Over the Holidays 

No matter what time of year it is, you don’t have to look far to find opportunities to drink. So how can you stay safe and continue on the road to recovery without being tempted to indulge? 

We recommend the following: 

  • Find non-alcoholic beverages that you enjoy. This gives you something to drink and makes it easier to reject alcoholic beverages. 
  • Prepare a reason for why you’re not drinking. While no one has to know any details, you’ll feel more confident approaching social events when you have prepared a reason why you’re not drinking.
  • Bring a sober friend along. It’s much easier to refrain from drinking and stay sober when you have other friends who are doing the same. 
  • Be smart about the events you choose. Ideally, it’s best to steer clear of festivities where alcohol will be served, but we realize that’s not always possible. However, still, be smart about the events you attend and the people who will be there. 
  • Practice good self-care. Treat yourself well by getting enough rest, eating well, and attending your support groups. This will make it easier to say no when you need to. 

The holidays can be stressful and full of temptation, but there are ways to get through them. Awakenings Treatment Center is here for you when you need it. We can help you prepare for a life of sobriety, as well as support you during challenging times. Contact our outpatient drug rehab in Agoura Hills to learn more.