The Memorial Day weekend of 2019′ is usually known as the first chapter towards summer–a time for commemoration and celebration. However, this can be a challenging time for those who are on the road to addiction recovery, as triggers can get in the way of staying clean. What are some effective ways to stay sober on Memorial Day? Read to find out.
You are on a sober streak, and you feel good about yourself. You feel accomplished and everything’s in place, until you notice that Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching. This can be a particularly tempting time to stay away from past addictions. If you have suffered from alcoholism, it does not help to know that Memorial Day is one of the top US drinking holidays.
However, having a clean Memorial Day weekend is possible. With the right strategies in place, you can still enjoy this time while keeping track of your recovery goals. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Prepare your mind for possible triggers
The first thing you have to remember if Memorial Day or any other drinking holiday is approaching is preparing yourself mentally. The mind works in such a way that when certain sights, sounds, smells, or tastes are experienced, they can serve as “triggers” that can cause someone to spiral back to addictions.
Thankfully, our brains work both ways. Mental preparation and the power of awareness can help you fight these triggers. By simply knowing that you will experience some triggers during Memorial Day, you can rise above these temporary temptations to continue your journey to recovery.
Have alternative activities
Memorial Day is known for parties, barbecues, and loud crowds. However, this does not mean that you can’t switch up traditional activities. There are other things you can do which could even be more fun. For example, one of our previous clients took an alcohol-free camping trip with his family during last year’s Memorial Day. He attests to a relaxing yet sober experience, plus he got to treasure beautiful memories with his wife and children.
You can visit parks and take pictures, have a staycation near the coast, or have a cozy time at home watching movies with your family. Starting a new tradition for the Memorial Day weekend will make it easier for you to avoid triggers.
Get a motivation booster
After addiction treatment, there are aftercare programs available for those who need an extra boost of motivation to stay sober.
This can be done no matter how far along you are in your journey. Before any drinking holiday comes by, you can do some activities to boost your motivation in staying clean–whether it’s attending support groups, doing one-on-one counseling, practicing meditation or having a good workout. These boosters can help fill up your tank when temptations to drink alcohol or use drugs eventually arise.
Create an exit strategy
As much as you may try to avoid triggers during Memorial Day, there will be some moments where you will be exposed to situations that require you to have an exit plan.
If you are invited by friends to a house party where you know there will be drinking involved, you can inform them you have to pass and create other plans instead. Anticipation and planning is key to maintaining your sobriety streak.
See the big picture
A big part of success in recovery is getting through the small potholes by fixing your eyes on the real goal. It can be easier to get distracted with the bumps and detours along the way, but being headstrong on your destination is important.
Don’t mind the people who tell you, “It’s just one day” or “One time won’t hurt”. See the big picture and know that by resisting that one moment, you are going forward towards freedom.
A sober Memorial Day is possible
With these strategies in mind, a sober Memorial Day Weekend is possible. Anticipating triggers, planning ahead, and setting your eyes on the goal are all essential things to understand to keep yourself addiction-free.