Ringing in the New Year
New Year’s Eve can be a challenging night for people who are in recovery from a substance use disorder centered on alcohol. The champagne—and other libations—tend to flow freely on the last night of the year. The parties wind up as the final seconds of the year wind down, and an awful lot of people are looking for two things as the clock strikes midnight: someone to smooch and something to drink.
We’re all for a little consensual smooching to bring in the new year, but if you are in recovery, the alcohol is, of course, a no go.
Sober Celebration Ideas for NYE
Fortunately, the alternatives are limited only by your own imagination. We have some sober celebration ideas to get your planning started for the arrival of 2022.
Starting With the Obvious: Attend (or Host) a Dry Celebration
A New Year’s party is still a party even if there is no alcohol on offer. Gather up the noisemakers, the party hats, and the confetti for a celebration with your friends and family. Swap in sparkling cider or any fizzy soda (or get even more creative) in place of the champagne, and you can still ring in the new year with a toast.
Your local recovery community may host an alcohol-free celebration on New Year’s Eve. Alternately, you could throw your own shindig—making it clear to the invitees that alcohol will not be served and that they can’t bring their own. Plenty of people, even those who are not in recovery, would likely welcome the chance to celebrate with friends in an atmosphere where alcohol is absent.
Switch Up the Activity: Get Together for a Game Night
A big get-together is not required to make New Year’s Eve memorable. Invite a few like-minded friends over for a night of games—card games, board games, role playing games, video games, whatever you all enjoy. Spend the evening in friendly competition and celebrate spending time with those closest to you. Of course, if you have the space and the inclination, you can invite a whole lot of people to while away the last night of the year playing games. The size of the celebration is up to you.
Head Out to the Movies: A Silver Screen Celebration
Many movie theaters are open on New Year’s Eve, so you can take in a flick and focus on movie snacks instead of alcohol. In some cases, you may even be able to reserve a theater so that you and your friends can have a private showing of the latest blockbuster (this is a great way to enjoy the movies while reducing risks related to the ongoing pandemic).
Out Under the Stars: Welcome the New Year in Nature
The desirability of bringing in the new year in the great outdoors varies from locale to locale, but spending the final moments of one year and the first moments of the next under the stars can be a truly inspiring experience. In fact, if the weather allows, a camping trip can be a wonderful way to mark the new year. After all, communing with the great outdoors can be a great way to gain some perspective as the adventure of a new year gets underway.
Stick With Your Routine: It Will Still Be the New Year When You Awaken
For some folks in recovery, the best move on a night like New Year’s Eve is simply to behave as if it is any other night of the year. Sticking to your routines can help make sure your recovery is not knocked off track because you are overtired or caught up in the midnight moment of celebration.
Protecting your sobriety by downplaying the holiday does not make you a stick in the mud. Instead, it makes you a person who understands that maintaining one’s hard-won sobriety is more important than any end of year blowout.
Sobriety Is the Best Reason to Celebrate
When you are struggling with a substance use disorder, you don’t feel much like celebrating—no matter which holiday is on the horizon. At The Aviary Recovery Center, we are fully devoted to helping you reclaim your sobriety so that you can reclaim your life. We are committed to a compassionate, evidence-based approach to detox, rehab, and a continuum of care. And we can help with any co-occurring mental health disorders that may be contributing to your difficulties.
As the new year is about to begin, it is a perfect time to get a new start.