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dealing with the holidays when new to recovery

Be sure to get enough rest. – Let’s face it. When you’re tired, you’re more apt to make snap judgments that may turn out to be wrong, say something you wish you hadn’t, or find yourself entertaining thoughts of giving into the temptation to drink or do drugs. While being well rested can’t guarantee that these situations won’t occur, it’s far less likely.

Be selective about what invitations you accept. – Depending on what time of year it is, you can expect to receive numerous invitations to parties and get-togethers. This is particularly true during the period from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. In some areas of the country, the calendar date that results in the most drinking and driving arrests is Halloween. Other big holidays for drinking include the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

What’s in your glass only matters to you. – When everyone around you is having a good time, drinking cocktails or champagne or beer, do you really think it matters what you have the bartender pour in your glass? Chances are it only matters to you. The man or woman next to you is only interested in getting his or her own drink. So, if you ask for sparkling water or tonic with lime, it’s your business and no one else’s.

If you’re with family or close friends and someone wants to fill your glass for a toast, it helps if you prepare the host ahead of time to have your glass filled with a non-alcoholic drink. If red wine is the toast beverage, you can have your glass filled with cranberry juice. If it’s champagne, make yours ginger ale or Seven Up. Remember that others will only notice or pay attention to a situation where a big deal is made of it. So, if you handle this ahead of time, no one’s the wiser. Everyone else is just caught up in the celebration of the moment. With this tip, you can join in and still be true to your recovery goals.