2020 has been far from ordinary. The coronavirus crisis has turned the world upside down, and many people will be excitedly counting down the seconds until 2021. For many people, a new year means a fresh start and New Year’s Eve is an excuse to go a little overboard. For someone in recovery, New Year’s Eve can be a nightmare with relapse triggers everywhere.

people celebrating NYE sober

How to Spend New Year’s Eve Sober in 2020

If you just underwent an alcohol detox and left treatment, you are likely still navigating life in recovery. With its traditional party reputation, trying to find things to do on New Year’s Eve without drinking may seem impossible at first. Instead of putting yourself in an uncomfortable or triggering situation, these sober New Year’s Eve ideas and tips can help you ring in 2021 with your sobriety intact.

Avoid Triggering Situations

With the coronavirus still a problem, many places are easing back on large and extravagant parties this year, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t still end up facing relapse triggers. Turn down any New Year’s Eve invites where drinking will be the main event and you could feel triggered. You should also avoid spending the night with people who you used to drink with as they can also bring on strong alcohol cravings.

Alternative Party Activities

Contrary to popular belief, you can have an alcohol-free New Year’s Eve that is still fun. Instead of the usual party where alcohol is a big focus, there are plenty of alternative ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve that do not involve drinking. Have a tournament-style game night whether it is board games or video games. Cook an elaborate dinner. Go all out on a movie marathon night. Have a make-your-own-pizza night. There are plenty of sober ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve if you think outside of the box. With a little planning, you can also make these virtual events so you can celebrate with friends and practice social distancing at the same time.

Spend it with the Right People

In order to have a sober New Year’s Eve, you want to make sure you spend the night with the right people, whether or not you are able to meet in-person. Ring in 2021 with trusted friends and family members who support you in recovery. You could even look to connect with people in recovery like those from your alcoholism treatment program. They are likely looking for people to spend the night with as well even if it is only virtually.

Local Events

Even with the ongoing coronavirus crisis, your community may still be hosting socially distant events. Look for sober New Year’s Eve events or those that advertise being kid-friendly since alcohol is less likely to be a focus. Some addiction treatment centers or recovery groups will also host sober events for occasions like this and may have gone virtual this year.

Do Something The Next Day

Although there is a lot of pressure to have fun on New Year’s Eve, you could make New Year’s Day the main event. Start the new year off on the right foot by skipping the big party and planning a fun or exciting event the next day instead. This could be something you always wanted to try, something you weren’t able to do when you were still drinking, or something you simply enjoy.

Take A Moment to Reflect

You got sober for a reason. If you fear that New Year’s Eve could lead to relapse, take some time to look back on why you got sober and how your life has changed for the better because of it. You can even look toward the future and think about all the great things you are going to do now that you are sober. With this type of mindset, you will be much less tempted to drink.

Although drinking on New Year’s Eve is the norm for many people, it doesn’t mean it’s the only way to celebrate. There are plenty of sober ideas for New Year’s Eve that you can try so that you can enjoy the night while still maintaining your sobriety.

If you do relapse, it doesn’t have to be the end of your recovery. At Vertava Health Mississippi, we help people find lasting recovery. Contact us today to learn more.