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Enlightened Solutions’s Blog From Near Atlantic City, New Jersey

staying sober on st patrick's day

Tips for Staying Sober on St. Patrick’s Day

One of the biggest challenges that newly sober people face is surviving through days that are widely accepted as party days. There are holidays to get through such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, which may be where your friends and family like to drink, but there are also other days that are associated with drinking even more. First, there’s New Year’s Eve, and then the Super Bowl, but now we’re coming up on St. Patrick’s Day. This might be your first sober St. Patrick’s day in a long time, and it can be challenging to know how you’re going to make it through sober, but we’ve listed some tips that’ll help you continue your recovery journey. 

How to Maintain Willpower

There are some amazing psychologists out there who study willpower, and many people in recovery would benefit from checking out and understanding their work. People like Dr. Roy Baumeister who wrote Willpower and Dr. Kelly McGonigal who wrote The Willpower Instinct have fascinating studies. Something that’s apparent in all of the research is that we have a sort of “willpower fuel tank”, which Baumeister refers to as “ego depletion”. Basically, our brains have a limited amount of resources, so the more willpower we use, the less we have. 

The best way to avoid ego depletion and keep your willpower fuel tank full when you need it is to plan ahead. Every day is filled with decisions and avoiding not-so-great behaviors. When you plan ahead, there’s less of a cognitive load when it comes to a day like St. Patrick’s Day. So, before the day comes around, start making plans to hang out with friends or go to a meeting. Just like the other 364 days of the year, there are plenty of things to do that don’t involve the tradition of going to bars or partying. 

Have a Sober St. Patrick’s Day

A fear that many people have when they get sober is that they won’t be able to go out and have fun anymore, but that’s not the case. While it is a bad idea to keep going to bars once you get sober, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun. In fact, once you start hanging around other sober people, you start to see that they actually have a lot more fun than other people. The best part is that they don’t have to wake up worrying about a hangover or who they drunk dialed the night before. 

Part of planning ahead can be talking to your friends in recovery and organizing a St. Patrick’s day get-together. Even without alcohol, there’s plenty of St. Patty’s Day themes you can enjoy. There are a wide range of non-alcoholic drinks that you can make with friends, and this can also be an opportunity for you to have a potluck. Get creative and think of the dishes and desserts you can all bring to enjoy the holiday together. The night can also be filled with games, watching movies, or just hanging out and having a good time in each other’s company. 

Go to a Meeting

When all else fails, going to a meeting is always a great option for any holiday. On a daily basis, 12-step meetings are a reminder that you’re not alone, and it’s no different on March 17th. You’re not the only person who is trying to stay sober on St. Patrick’s Day, so be around others who get it. Not only will you be with people new to recovery, but you’ll also be with old-timers who have been through years of holidays safe and sober. Through their experience, strength, and hope, you’ll see it’s possible for you too. 

Enlightened Solutions regularly has events for people in recovery, and we also host a variety of 12-step meetings. For information about our events and meetings, or if you know someone who needs help getting sober, call us today at 833-233-7336.

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