New Year’s Eve can be a difficult holiday when you’re in recovery. Everyone knows that people tend to focus on alcohol when they’re celebrating the New Year, and this can feel isolating. It’s easy to assume that there’s nothing to do on New Year’s Eve if you can’t drink, but that’s not true at all. In fact, there are many ways to celebrate a New Year without alcohol and L.A. CADA knows a few. You can use these ideas on their own or combine a few to create the ultimate New Year’s Eve celebration. Stay sober on New Year’s Eve and have fun, too!
- Find a New Year’s Eve sober celebration near you. Most cities have Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART Recovery groups with sober events planned for New Year’s Eve. Whether you opt to find a sober dance, take part in a midnight 12-Step meeting, or go to a private party hosted by someone in recovery, surround yourself with people who understand exactly how you are feeling and who share your value of sobriety.
- Throw your own sober event. If you’re up to it, take on the task of hosting your own party. You get to decide who is around you when you celebrate the new year, you pick the snacks, and you don’t have to be out on the road and in the madness. Pick a theme if you like, host a board games tournament, turn up the music, or watch celebrations on TV. Make it clear to your guests that this is a sober event – meaning they should not only leave the booze at home but also come to the party sober as well.
- Make it a Peaceful New Year’s Eve. If you prefer something quieter and just don’t want to face the crowds, there’s no harm in choosing to stay in for the night. Curl up in your favorite pajamas with hot cocoa and a Netflix marathon. Or review your life goals and objectives, writing down your feelings and hopes in a journal that you can review as the new year unfolds.
- Be of Service to Others. Taking our mind off of ourselves for a little while can be very refreshing. Why not call a homeless shelter and ask if you can help serve the holiday meal? Or take some toys to an animal shelter for a homeless pet. Maybe drive to the park or beach and pick up trash as a community service. These are all good ways to get our of our own head and start the new year right.
L.A. CADA provides behavioral health treatment and housing. We’re here if you need us at (562) 906-2676.