The holiday season is here, which means you’ll most likely be surrounded by a lot of festive events involving alcohol. But don’t worry, here are 11 sober activities to help you avoid the temptations yet still enjoy the holidays!
Research found over 40% of men and women admit to binge drinking during the holidays, specifically New Year’s Eve. Another study found participants more than doubled their use of alcohol between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This also means the amount of money spent on drinking doubles.
When you think of holiday parties, you may picture yourself holding a glass of your favorite alcohol. You may even picture yourself laughing and having a fun, inebriated night with friends. Too many of these parties can lead to alcohol related problems, like hangovers and even alcohol poisoning and dependence.
To avoid these negative consequences, agree to celebrate without alcohol this holiday season. Yes, it can be done. You can have just as much, if not more, fun without alcohol. Plus, you will remember everything you did, and you won’t have to suffer from embarrassing moments that alcohol can create.
There are many festive activities you can do to celebrate the holiday season sober. Below are 11 ideas.
1. Be the Designated Driver
You know how necessary it is for people to avoid drinking and driving. You may have had your own struggles with driving while intoxicated. During this holiday season, you can help others by offering to give them a ride home from holiday parties.
And if you join a ride share program like Uber or Lyft, you can make money too.
2. Deliver and Decorate
People are busy during the holiday season. Start a side hustle of delivering Christmas trees and decorations. And then offer to decorate them. You can save people time and pre-occupy your time with something productive.
You can even decorate for parties. You will likely be tired after decorating so you will have a good reason to leave the party early.
3. Volunteer and Give Back
Giving back to your community, or to a charity larger than your community can be rewarding. Commit to helping local or regional charities throughout the holiday season. Volunteer at shelters, build with habitat for humanity, or connect with local churches, all of which have Christmas charities.
4. Do Some Work
Just because everyone else is off and going to parties, doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Why let work get backed up when you have the time to do it. Continuing to work throughout the holidays, even working overtime, helps you make more money. It also helps fill any extra time you may have had to attend a party, with productive actions.
5. Throw Sober Parties
There are many people looking for something to do during the holidays that don’t involve drinking. Just visit your local AA meeting or get more information from a treatment program.
Start your own sober parties this holiday season. Each week you can plan sober activities, tell people where to meet, and have fun. One week you may go ice skating, one week watch the games, and one week visit the elderly at a nursing home.
This may be something you continue throughout the year.
6. Boost Endorphins
Endorphins are chemical neurotransmitters in the brain that when released, makes you feel good. They ease pain too. The best way to release endorphins is through exercise.
This holiday season, start an exercise group with sober friends. Set a goal to run or walk in a local 5K event. While parties are going on, you can be exercising. Those who are drinking will have a chemical boost in their brains too, but yours won’t lead to negative consequences.
7. Take a Road Trip
What better way to get away from the people who make it hard for you not to drink during the holiday season than to take a road trip. Take the sober you on a quick vacay to avoid temptations. Visit a sober friend or join the Air B and B craze and treat yourself to a relaxing stay on a farm surrounded by nothing but beautiful scenery.
If that sounds too boring, hit up a big city and be a total tourist for a few days.
8. Get Educated
No matter what your education level today, even if you have a Ph.D., you can always learn more. Online education has exploded recently and there is a course on just about anything, from baking to biology.
You can choose to start an online college program or take individual courses from platforms like Udemy. Classes cost very little these days. And as you know, “I have homework to finish” is an excellent excuse to get out of drinking alcohol.
9. Remodel Your Space
If you have the DIYer somewhere inside you, now is the perfect time to start small projects that will keep you busy during the holidays. Don’t take on projects that will overwhelm you and trigger you to drink.
Instead, start with projects that take a few hours at a time, ones that will give you a feeling of success and motivation to tackle other projects. Since these can take place inside your home, you can do them any time day or night, even during holiday parties.
10. Catch Up on Sleep
Sleep heals the entire body. Getting enough sleep will help your brain better fight cravings and triggers tempting you to drink alcohol. There are four stages of sleep, with REM sleep being the deepest. Getting the right amount of REM sleep can restore good health.
Instead of going out with friends and drinking, which inhibits good sleep, stay in and let your body do its thing.
11. Adopt a Pet
There are many pets sitting in shelters during the holiday season. Instead of spending money on alcohol, adopt a pet. Research has shown owning a pet can help with depression and anxiety. Many pets have become service pets, assisting those who struggle with emotional problems.
Get yourself a service pet this holiday season. Enjoy the unconditional love they offer.
In conclusion, there are hundreds of things you can do instead of drinking this holiday season. Get creative and truly enjoy yourself. You deserve a fun, sober holiday.