Tips To Hosting A Sober Holiday Party

The holidays are upon us, and millions of people across the country are finalizing plans to spend time with loved ones. For people who are estranged from their biological families, this time of year can be emotionally challenging. If the holidays are difficult for you, finding ways to make it through the season is important. Whether you choose to spend this time with loved ones or in service to your community is entirely up to you. 

If you do choose to celebrate with loved ones, creating a safe environment that supports your ongoing sobriety is vital. As a national provider of addiction treatment services, Niznik Behavioral Health offers these tips for throwing a sober holiday party.

Get Everyone on the Same Page

Sober holiday parties aren’t just for people in recovery, but they do require everyone to be on the same page. Creating a safe space for celebrating together means ensuring your party is as free of triggers as possible. This translates to no drug or alcohol use, even for guests who are not in recovery. 

One common mistake that can lead to relapse during this time of year is false security. We often fall into the trap of believing that we can resist the temptations of being around alcohol or drug use because we’ve successfully maintained our sobriety in other instances. 

Tips for hosting a sober holiday party

Take your cues from your guests. Many of whom are not in recovery may not want to drink, but want to be around you without the influence of alcohol. Whatever the situation, find a way to make it work.

Put a cap on your guest list. By doing this, you’ll be able to keep your friends, family, and loved ones happy and content, without becoming overwhelmed. No one has to be ashamed of not drinking, but there’s also no need to overdo it either.

Talk about your goals. You want to bring people together for fun, but if you set unrealistic expectations, the entire experience will feel overwhelming. Provide some healthy guidelines about what’s okay and what’s not.

Promote the Event Appropriately

If you’re hosting a sober holiday party, your guests should see that you are getting them the full experience, not just a sober version of what everyone else is doing. Think about what the message of your party is and promote it properly. Maybe it’s something like: “We are having a ‘Friendsgiving’!” or “We are having a ‘Sobriety’ party!” 

Focus on Love and Support

A good time is a good time, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to have a good time. Remember to promote a sense of love and support, not just for you but for everyone else in the room. If you plan on supporting guests, make sure you have an open conversation with everyone in your group about how you would like to celebrate.

Create a Safe Environment

Before you host your party, it’s important to develop a plan. Create a safe space that’s safe for you and your guests. There is a lot of negative attention surrounding substance abuse, especially at this time of year, so any party will be one step away from controversy.

While it’s important to honor loved ones who choose to drink, you also have to make sure your environment isn’t toxic. Prevent drinking triggers with food and drink. Get recipes for non-alcoholic beverages, such as non-alcoholic-champagne punch or green tea. Pack food that can be prepared ahead of time for snacking, such as nuts or granola bars. 

Be Mindful of Your Guests

Make sure your party isn’t awkward or triggering. Be mindful of your guest, If they have to leave, they have to leave. Don’t get into other people’s space to see if they’re alright. If you see any changes in behavior, provide support. Sit with them. Encourage them to drink water and try to offer them a way to stay safe.

Plan Party Games

Party games are an easy way to break the ice with your friends. Make sure there are a variety of games that allow guests to get comfortable.

Stay Present and Aware

That means no alcohol or drugs or unhealthy snacks, and minimal triggers. Keeping people’s attention on your festivities and healthy celebrations is imperative. Be mindful of everyone’s energy levels and no-go zones, and keep your guests engaged in conversation. Providing your guests with healthy options will allow them to fully engage with the festivities.

Mix Your Setting With Support Groups

If you have a local support system or you’re hosting the party at your home, invite people who share a common interest with you. Whether that’s health, wellness, or recovery, these types of gatherings will engage more people. Have a healthy spread of refreshments, serve food responsibly, and enjoy the moment you have with loved ones.

Keep the Event Simple and Low-key

Christmas isn’t about glitz and glamour and gluttonous food and booze. It’s about spending time with family, exchanging gifts, and being with those you love. There’s no reason to ruin that for everyone else by having a crazy party that might trigger someone to drink. Keep the party small and low key, and use the space for face-to-face conversations rather than interacting with phones and alcohol.

Follow-up with your guests

To ensure everyone has a positive experience, get in touch with guests following the party. No matter how close you get to a person, it’s always important to keep lines of communication open. It’s one thing to make a commitment to attend a holiday party. It’s quite another to stick to it.

Holiday parties can be a lot of fun, but they can also cause an overload of mixed emotions. When someone is involved in a full-fledged addiction, that person may neglect themselves and others in an effort to drink or drug themselves to oblivion. If you see someone presenting signs of negative behavior, trust your instincts, and get them the help they need to stop. 

Hope Canyon Recovery is here to help by talking with the individual. Call 855-683-5489 today if someone is in need of drug or alcohol help.

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