Stay Sober Through the Holidays!

By HeidiB 10/29/19
Heidi B Coaching

The holidays are coming and whether you're newly sober or you've been doing this thing for a few "24"s, they can be a challenging period through which to maintain sobriety!  But, I've got you covered, here are my top 4 tips for staying sober through the Holidays!

1.  Have a plan for those parties!

Know going into that office holiday party, that you'll be ordering a Diet Coke or a La Croix or whatever non-alcoholic drink is your jam.  You've probably been ordering alcoholic drinks at events like these for years, so you don't want to end up at the bar, panic, and order a glass of bubbly.  Also, enlist an accountability buddy.  Call your buddy beforehand (sober) and commit to calling them afterward (sober).

2.  Have a drink in your hand.

Don't wait for someone to shove a glass of champagne or wine into your empty hand.  If you're at a holiday party that's at a bar or has a bar, head straight over and order your non-alcoholic beverage!  If you're drinking soda water, you can put a lime in it and people will probably just think you're drinking a vodka soda.  When or if people ask what you're drinking you can get sassy, "none of your business" with a sly smile, or you can just be honest, "soda water."  Remember - you don't owe anyone an explanation as to why you're not drinking, so don't indulge their questions if you don't want to.  Finally, once you set your drink down, get a new drink.  This is a big one.  Picture this, you're doing a great job staying sober, drinking your soda water with lime.  You set your glass down (the one looks like everyone else's) and turn to chat with a friend. You pick your cup back up and without realizing it you've grabbed the wrong one and suddenly you're drinking someone's vodka soda.  

3.  Make yourself useful.

This is one of my favorites and it has saved my ass during the holidays. When you arrive at the event, grab a soda water and then ask the host how you can help. Can you help set the table or run the Grill?  Can you clear the dishes after the meal and post up washing them?  Can you entertain your sister's kid, so that she and her husband can enjoy the evening?  When I'm useful in these ways, I'm so much less obsessed about the fact that everyone is drinking and I'm not!

4. Just don't drink - no matter what!

The main goal is to stay sober and so don't try to moderate a bunch of other behavior as well.  A girlfriend of mine was struggling with this and a friend of her's told her, "Listen, I never smoked a whole pack of cigarettes and fucked a stranger.  So don't drink, don't fuck any strangers (unless you want to), but do whatever the hell else you want."  So, eat the cake, smoke the cigarettes, have a cigar, etc.  

Just remember, even though it doesn't always feel like it, plenty of people are doing the holidays sober.  You're never alone!


HeidiB is a speaker, author, and relationship expert.  You can find out more about her sobriety story and life by visiting her website at 


Join the conversation, become a Fix blogger. Share your experience, strength, and hope, or sound off on the issues affecting the addiction/recovery community. Create your account and start writing: