The lead up to and the celebrations of New Year’s Eve are known for heavy alcohol and drug consumption. If you’re however looking for a different way to enter a new chapter, whether, for health purposes or to remain on track with sobriety, it can be tough to overlook the norms.

Alcohol and drugs are so heavily associated with celebration that most people naturally gravitate towards them this time of year. Yet there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the festivities and celebrations without overdoing it or breaking your recovery intentions.

For someone who’s hoping to reduce their intake or start afresh as sober, for a change in lifestyle, this will understandably be easier than for someone with a substance use disorder. Staying sober through an influential time of year, with existing cravings, urges and triggers can be tough. The consequences of drinking alcohol or abusing drugs are also much greater.

Although expectedly harder, celebrating a sober New Year is still possible. Continuing on a road of sobriety is also possible. Yet only with the right decisions, outlooks, and actions. Here’s how to enjoy, stay on track and make some positive changes this New Year as sober. Resolutions are effective, yet long-term recovery plans are even more rewarding, possible to reach here at Asana Lodge.


How to experience and enjoy a sober New Year

Planning for New Year’s celebrations is very important. Daily life can be difficult to manoeuvre around as newly sober. With both alcohol and drugs being heavily linked to the celebratory period, being prepared for their exposure will be necessary, to stay sober.

Even if you’re looking to celebrate the New Year as sober, for a lifestyle change, you’ll still need to plan, as the average person can be romanced by the norms of this time of year.


  • Expect tough moments

There will be tough moments throughout this time of year. It’s important to be realistic about what’s ahead this New Year. If you’re struggling with existing habits or have recently overcome alcohol/drug addiction, it’s normal to experience some form of setback. It’s even normal to feel influenced without displaying signs of addiction.

How you respond to the tough moments is the important factor here. Planning will help you work through any obstacles or triggers, making celebrating a sober New Year an easier commitment to make.


  • Be prepared with a plan

You should have a plan of action in place to help you manoeuvre through the celebrations. Your plan should be equipped to prevent relapse, it should stand as an exit strategy, and it should also map out your time. Everything from your schedule to your coping strategies should be thought through ahead of the New Year.


  • Attend sober events

Instead of taking any risks, celebrating a sober New Year will be easier by attending sober events. There are many like-minded people out there in recovery, there are AA/NA arranged events to attend, and there are also others who actively choose to lead sober lives. Sober events will eliminate all types of influences, helping you celebrate rather than walk on eggshells all night.


  • Associate with other recovering addicts

There will be others out there in the exact position as you. Through local support groups and meetings, you can associate with other recovering addicts. Coming together this New Year will help to increase accountability, motivation, and empathy.

If you’re instead choosing to stay sober for other reasons this New Year, various sober campaigns, charity commitments and volunteer groups are accessible as a support network.


  • Arrange your own New Year’s Eve party

You can be in control of how you celebrate your new chapter. It can still be a fun and enjoyable time, even whilst recovering from addiction. Plan to arrange your own party, heavy on sober themes, invites and activities. Spending New Year sober will be easier by avoiding high-risk environments.


  • Attend AA or NA meetings

Meetings are still active across this time of year. If you already attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, you should follow your existing schedule. If you’re yet to enrol, now is a great time, to benefit from peer and professional support.


  • Countdown to midnight

Placing your focus on midnight is encouraged. Reaching this milestone is a positive sign and will be highly motivating to continue through the evening. See the countdown as a countdown to your new goals and intentions, whether you’re recovering from addiction or not. Once achieved, this can be your first goal, defining your sobriety. If you are struggling through celebrations, it’s also a technique that can help you countdown until it’s over.


  • Rely on supportive family and friends

Celebrating a sober New Year doesn’t have to be a lonely time. If you have supportive loved ones, relying on them to help you through this period is reasonable. Addiction recovery should be a united effort, which shouldn’t stop over the festive period. Engaging with and spending time with those you trust and those who support you will ease this time of year.


  • Redefine New Year celebrations

Alcohol or drugs aren’t the only ways to celebrate. Celebrating a sober New Year will still have the same purpose. Seeing New Year celebrations for what they are and redefining them to fit your circumstances is recommended. This outlook will help you remain sober throughout further celebrations. Set new traditions and plans for your take on a New Year.


  • Set yourself some new goals

Goal setting is a great way to keep your eye on your intentions. Setting yourself some new goals to focus on and plan for will help to distract you from any influences. Remembering why you’re sober can be motivating and resonating. New Year’s resolutions are common and for many will surround sobriety.


Maintaining sobriety throughout the New Year

Remaining sober through the celebrations is a noteworthy achievement. Yet in order to remain on track and avoid succumbing to January blues, you’ll need to plan for the following year.

Your next year should focus on your recovery, on strengthening it and on making it a way of life. If you’re remaining sober to benefit your health, this is also a time to cement some healthy lifestyle choices.

Maintaining sobriety will be much more likely by following a positive and feasible routine. You should think about your way of living and how it can either progress or regress your sober intentions. Your nutrition, self-care, mental health, mindfulness, sleep, routine, environments, and relationships should all be considered.

Filling your time and routine with positive activities will also be encouraged. Celebrating a sober New Year can be likely by attending support groups and prioritising sober events. Following the same approach through everyday life can normalise life in sobriety.

It’s also important to remember that sobriety is a long-term commitment, which at some point, may regress. You are in control of how your intentions pan out. Yet in some instances, uncontrollable obstacles can arise. Additional treatment, professional guidance and supportive services are available to help you get back on track and progress towards sobriety.


Achieving sobriety at Asana Lodge

Reaching and remaining sober can be tough without suitable withdrawal and rehabilitation. To withdraw from drugs and alcohol, and to learn to live without their input, treatment is essential.

Achieving initial sobriety is possible here at Asana Lodge, offering private drug and alcohol treatment programmes. Outpatient and residential addiction treatment can also be experienced, to learn how to disassociate and cope without consumption. Aftercare services, relapse prevention planning and support groups are also included, to help normalise sober choices and habits.

All can be experienced, along with advice and guidance throughout the New Year. Celebrating a sober New Year and continuing on as drug/alcohol-free will be possible by making some changes. Change, recover and celebrate with our specialist help.

Remember, the festive period, New Year’s Eve and everyday life can be enjoyable, fun, and fulfilling as sober. It’s what you make of it that counts.


John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 22 December 2021

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.

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