The holidays are officially upon us. The media portrays this time of year as joyous and indulgent. But for many that is far from the truth. What about people, like yourself, trying to stay sober? The holidays can be very stressful. There is no magic answer – no silver bullet. But hopefully these tips will ease your stress and help you have a successful, sober holiday season. Healthy self-care. It can be very difficult during this time of year to keep a regime of good self-care. There can be a lot of frenzied running around leaving you too tired to for instance, eat right or go for some exercise. Taking care of yourself is critical to being able to make good decisions. Stay away from the wrong parties. Don’t be afraid to say no. At the end of the day, no holiday obligation is worth the risk of relapse. Think about if this is a right party for you. Who is hosting it? Who will be there? Will the focus be all around drinking? If you are unsure of how things might go, then it may be best to decline the invitation. If you are at a party and it’s becoming too much or if you’re not sure you can handle it – then don’t test yourself, get out of the situation. Volunteer. If you’re worried about staying sober, then do good by finding a worthy cause to donate your time to during this risky season. Keep contact with your support group. Connect with those that keep you sober before entering into high risk situations is a great way to reinforce your commitment to staying sober. Drop by a meeting before that holiday party. Plan your holiday. It is important to avoid unplanned expectations or responsibilities. You may find yourself in a very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation. So take the time to plan out what your holiday days and nights will look like. Too much isolation can be harmful. Don’t leave many nights open where you may find yourself alone. Also, think about new traditions you may want to start that support your sobriety. Get help from friends and family. Your friends and family are here to help. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Maybe you are looking for someone you can trust to join you at a party? Maybe you just need to hear someone’s voice over the phone to help set you on the right track? Whatever it is you need, reach out!