If you’re approaching the holiday season as somebody who is newly sober, considering sobriety, or even if you’re someone who has successfully avoided alcohol for years, the next few months of social celebrating combined with the complex range of emotions that invariably pop up this time of year can leave a person feeling pretty anxious.
For a great many of us, holiday festivities and cheer are directly linked to celebratory libations. For a great many of us, holiday stress has always been eased with an overabundance of festive cocktails. Imbibing in this way has for the most part always been widely accepted, and oftentimes even encouraged, in our culture.
This is my third sober holiday season, and I’ve noticed that it’s the first one I’m approaching with the least amount of trepidation. The first two go-rounds (particularly the first) I was hyper-aware of what I perceived I was giving up. I was passing on having fun at parties. I was saying no to the connections and memories I’d otherwise make with friends as they celebrated without me. I was relinquishing the stress relief the extra stiff adult eggnog drinks offered while I wrapped gifts well into the wee hours of the night.
What I realize now is that I was saying yes to far more than I could begin to comprehend at the time. I was saying yes to more valuable time with my kids. I was saying yes to waking up early in the morning without brain fog and splitting headaches. I was allowing the entire holiday experience to be vivid and clear. I was saying yes to my long-term mental and physical health.
If you know going into it that you’d prefer to maintain your sobriety, it’s good to have a gameplan of sorts. We are here to support you. A yoga and fitness practice keeps you deeply in tune and connected to yourself. It keeps you focused on your WHY as you move through celebratory as well as difficult moments. Our Pineapple Ohana offers community when you need it. Come visit us in the warm Himalayan salt room, schedule a healing sauna, or take a heart-pumping class in the barre studio. It’s the season to say YES to connecting to your truest self.