The 4th of July is synonymous with drinking and partying. For people in sobriety, it can be difficult to navigate the holiday. However, if you feel strongly that you want to have the 4th of July experience while staying true to your recovery, these sober party tips can help.
1. Make Sure You’re Ready
Ask yourself, am I able to go to a place where alcohol will be served and not feel triggered? How often do I feel cravings? Do I have a support network I can call upon if I feel triggered? If you can’t say with confidence that your sobriety would be safe in a situation where people are drinking, don’t risk it.
2. Host a Party of Your Own
If you are worried about attending a party where you may be triggered, why not host your own sober celebration? Plenty of people will be happy to spend the 4th of July sober. Get the barbecue going, play some games, and spend the day outside enjoying the great weather. Plus one of the perks of hosting is you stay busy.
3. Have a Friend to Lean On
Maybe you could bring a sober friend with you for support, or arrange with your sponsor ahead of time that you may need to call them on the day. Or maybe you could ask someone to check in on you via text during the party. Come up with a strategy that feels right to you. Putting some plans into place for coping with triggers will go a long way in protecting your sobriety.
4. Keep a List of Coping Strategies on Your Phone
Speaking of coping with triggers, keep a list of portable coping skills on your phone. It could be going for a walk around the block, doing some deep breathing in the bathroom, or as Amanda Gist suggests “applying lavender essential oil to your neck and wrists to activate your parasympathetic nervous system.” Keeping a list will help you remember these strategies in the event you feel triggered.
5. Come Prepared with Non-Alcoholic Options
Bringing your own drinks gives you more control over the situation. If you’re offered a drink you can say, “thanks but I brought my own.” It also avoids that awkward feeling of wanting something to hold whilst mingling.
6. Be Your Own Exit Strategy
Carpooling is great for the environment but skip it today. Drive yourself to the party. That way if things start to feel unsafe for you, you can leave immediately. It might even be good to have a place in mind, where you can go and feel safe.
And if you find yourself struggling, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. Contact us anytime, we are here to help.