March is here, and St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner on Friday, March 17th. Some people associate this day with going out, partying excessively, and engaging in heavy substance use. However, for those who are in recovery, this is, of course, no longer an option. But this doesn't mean that it isn't still entirely possible to fully enjoy this holiday sober and spend some quality time with friends and family.
Maybe this is your first St. Patrick's Day in a long time that you'll be spending sober. You could feel a little anxious and not know what to expect. Maybe you're dreading this day entirely. The truth is, you don't have to. There are so many different fun things you can do to make this year's St. Patrick's Day one to never forget.
Come Up With a Plan for How You'll Spend St. Patrick's Day
One of the most important things you can do to make sure that you get through this holiday sober is to have a plan. This plan should involve not only what you'll be doing and where you'll be going but who you'll be spending your time with. You want to be sure to spend this holiday with people who support you and respect you and not people who may try to threaten your sobriety by encouraging you to drink or do drugs.
You also want to have a plan for what you're going to do if you do find yourself struggling with cravings or temptations throughout the day. Make sure that you have someone you can contact, whether it be a sponsor, therapist, or trusted friend, who can be there for you if you need to and provide guidance and a listening ear. If you're spending this holiday out of town or in a place unfamiliar to you, it can also help to search for support group meetings in that city ahead of time. That way, if you find yourself in a precarious situation, you know exactly where you can go to attend a meeting.
Part of planning ahead for your celebration involves knowing what to expect and limiting surprises as well as things that may be out of your control. This can not only limit temptation but ensure that you feel more comfortable and at ease throughout the day.
For example, if you're going out for St. Patrick's Day, you might want to research a particular establishment ahead of time. You may prefer more laidback or family-friendly restaurants as opposed to locations where you can likely expect a lot of people to be partying and drinking.
Fun, Sober St. Patrick's Day Activities
There are so many fun, sober activities you can do to celebrate this holiday, depending on what your interests are. The following are just a few examples:
#1. Attend a St. Patrick's Day parade: A lot of cities hold parades in celebration of this holiday. There are typically local school bands, floats, music, and entertainment for the children. Attending a parade is a great way to support your local community while soaking up the excitement of others. In addition, substance use is typically not going to be occurring in this sort of environment.
#2. Try cooking an Irish-themed meal: This is a great opportunity to pull out a cookbook or search for some traditional Irish-themed recipes online. It's always fun to try something new and learn about another country's culture. If you are of Irish heritage, this is a chance for you to learn more about your background. You can enjoy the meal yourself or have some friends or family members over to share. If you want, you could use green food coloring to make some fun St. Patrick's Day mocktails to go with the meal.
#3. Try out some Irish dances: Turn on some traditional Irish music and consider trying to learn some Irish dances. You could take a class or watch a YouTube video to learn one from the comfort of your own home. You could do this by yourself or with a few friends.
#4. Consider learning more about the history of St. Patrick's Day: A lot of people celebrate St. Patrick's Day every year without ever taking the time to learn who St. Patrick was, what he is known for, or how this holiday actually originated. If you're someone who enjoys learning about history, this could be a great opportunity for you to watch a documentary or film about the historical events that led up to the establishment of this holiday.
#5. Host your own St. Patrick's Day party: Hosting your own party can ensure that you are the one making the rules and will know what to expect. Just make sure that you make it clear to your guests that there will be no substance use present.
How do you usually celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Maybe you tend to hit the bars with friends and have limited memory of the celebration the next day. If so, you're not alone. However, you also don't have to live this way. Consider making a change this year and doing right by yourself by seeking treatment. If you struggle with substance misuse, there is hope, and there are many resources available that can change your life for the better. If you're ready to change, our team at The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more about the types of services we offer. We are here to answer any questions you may have.