If your mental health team has recommended an intensive outpatient program,…
Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day alone, with friends, or with that special someone, it can be a challenging holiday to handle sober. This is particularly true if you are newly sober, if you have recently experienced a breakup, or if you have bad Valentine’s Day memories. Of course, it can also be difficult for other reasons. If you recently started a new relationship, you may want to participate in all of the trappings of romance, like dining out at a new restaurant or sipping on champagne. Preparing ahead of time can help you make sure you have a happy and sober Valentine’s Day.
Get Real About Your Feelings
It’s not cool to say you care about Valentine’s Day, but some of us do. If you care about Valentine’s Day and you are in a relationship, make sure your significant other knows that it is important to you, then take on the task of planning it so you can make sure your celebration is a sober one. If you are not in a relationship and normally get depressed if you are single on Valentine’s Day, acknowledge that as well. Feeling sad can trigger relapses, so if you anticipate those emotions you can plan for how to deal with them.
Plan Sober Activities
Obviously, you probably want to plan to avoid bars and clubs if relapsing is a concern. For many people who have had to fight to get sober, those places will always trigger cravings and should always be avoided. However, you may not have thought about restaurants. From drink specials advertised on boards as you enter the restaurant to offers for the wine list and suggested drink specials with every course, restaurants offer plenty of temptation. Therefore, you might want to think outside of box when planning a sober Valentine’s Day activity.
Go to a meeting. If you are a 12-step program follower, planning to attend a meeting can help keep you sober.
Go to a museum. Museums are great for dates, for friends, or even alone. Take all the time you want to wander the exhibits, take a scheduled tour.
Go for a hike. Hiking is a great activity because it gets you exercise, which boosts your endorphins, gets you out in the sunshine, and lets you experience natural beauty. It is also one of the activities you can enjoy knowing that there will be very little temptation to drink.
Plan a picnic. Picnics have a reputation for romance for a reason. Planning a picnic does not have to be challenging; if you are not a cook, pack a cooler full of your favorite non-alcoholic drinks, order a to-go meal from a favorite restaurant, and head to the park with a picnic blanket.
Don’t Wing It
Just remember, if you are worried about staying sober on Valentine’s Day, the best plan is to have a plan.