Last Updated on December 1, 2022 by Dr. Alberto Solà

Happy (almost) New Year!

2022 has been an interesting and challenging year for pretty much everyone on the planet, and almost all of us will be happy to see it go. The dawn of a new year brings much hope and joy, and everyone everywhere surely wants to ring in 2023 with great enthusiasm. Furthermore, if you are someone in recovery, you may feel limited on this particular holiday even further. Traditionally, for many, New Year’s Eve is a night of partying and revelry. Many people in recovery find this holiday challenging due to reminders of past years of unhealthy habits and unwise decisions before they were able to break free from addiction. However, if you are in recovery, you should celebrate too. After all, you have much to celebrate. Your life, happiness, recovery, and health are all worth reflecting upon as one year ends and a new one begins.

If you’re looking for some great tips and ideas for ways to ring in 2023 clean, sober, and with a great big smile on your face, read on. Here are some great things you can do to welcome the new year and all of its incredible possibilities.

Happy Sober New Year Tips

  1. Build Your Support System
  • Meet regularly with a therapist, sponsor, counselor, and/or support group
  • Discuss your holiday season concerns and worries with family members, friends, and other loved ones
  • Be patient with loved ones who want to help but struggle to provide the support you need, exactly how and when you need it
  1. Plan Ahead for Holiday Gatherings
  • Limit your time in stressful situations
  • Don’t be afraid to say “No” if you feel uncomfortable
  • Avoid locations where you risk relapse
  • Make a list of people you can call in an emergency
  • Develop an “escape plan” so you can leave a holiday gathering on short notice
  1. Take Care of Yourself
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take time for reflection
  • Connect with loved ones
  1. Express Your Gratitude
  • Make a daily gratitude list
  • Volunteer at a local charitable organization
  • Find new ways to celebrate your sobriety with others
  1. Stay in the Moment
  • Live one day at a time
  • Try not to think about past mistakes and/or potential pitfalls you could encounter in the future
  • Focus on the positive aspects of the holiday season

Happy Sober New Year Resolutions

Try something new

New experiences are the most fulfilling and long-lasting way to leave old habits behind and move forward. As you recover, you’ll also be eager to meet new people who lead positive lifestyles. As you try new activities that are healthier for you, you’ll meet people who can share stories and experience positive growth right along with you.

Try keeping a journal

This can feel daunting at first, but give it a shot. You don’t need to write War and Peace every day. Just jot down a few thoughts each day at first. Keeping a journal is vital to tracking your own progress as you get and stay sober, and to building deeper insight into your own problems.

Attend a sober event with a friend

Attending sober events might feel strange at first, but they’re a fantastic way to help you stay sober. Bring a friend with you so you feel more comfortable, and as a source of more support.

Set yourself up for success, not a failure

As an addict, there were plenty of sources of toxicity in your life: dangerous relationships, places that triggered you to use, and probably many other stressful situations. Set yourself up for success rather than failure by avoiding all of these sources of toxicity if at all possible. If that’s not possible, keep your closest, most supportive allies nearby as you face down these stressors.

Keep a positive outlook

This might sound like a throwaway resolution, but give it a shot. Once you start being too hard on yourself and cycling in negative thought patterns, you’re at greater risk of relapse. Instead, when you hear negative self-talk in your mind, stop right there and turn it around. Learn to focus on the positive instead, even if it’s a struggle at first.

Happy Sober New Year Ideas

1. New Year’s Eve Movie Marathon

Whether you live alone or with others, another good way to celebrate the new year is with a movie marathon or by binge-watching an old show you love or a new show you’ve been waiting to see.

There are a number of New-Year-themed films that would be great choices for this sort of evening. Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, Rent, Waiting to Exhale, Four Rooms, the original Ocean’s 11, and The Poseidon Adventure are just a few.

However, your choices don’t have to be New Year-centric, necessarily; any films or shows you love will do.

2. Game Night

If you live with family or friends, consider organizing a game night. Collect a number of board and card games and play every single one of them together. You could create a schedule and switch games every hour, or make your way through them in a more free-form matter. To make it even more interesting, think of some fun prizes for the winners of each one.

3. Gratitude & Goals

Another great way to ring in a new year is by reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the next one. Take some time to think about what went well for you in 2020 (and what didn’t) and to contemplate what you’d like to achieve in 2021.

Even in a year as challenging as this one, we all have a lot to be thankful for. Supportive friends and loved ones would love to hear from you; handwritten cards expressing your gratitude is a great way to reach out to them and to give them something they’ll treasure always. Spend your evening writing a few and prepare them for mailing on January 2nd.

You can also draft your new year’s resolutions or better yet outline some achievable goals for the year ahead. Using SMART goals will give you the opportunity to develop a plan to reach them, too.

4. Celebrate World Traditions

The new year comes at a different time of day depending on your time zone, so another fun idea is to celebrate it hourly with traditions from various countries around the world. Check out this list for ideas, and then list them on a spreadsheet by hour. In between, listen to music from each country, read a poem by authors from each locale, or make and try some international foods. It’s not as good as actually traveling, certainly, but it’s a great way to “see the world” from your living room!

5. Online Wellness Retreat

This year, a number of providers are offering online meditation, yoga, and wellness retreats. This can be a lovely and transformative way to say goodbye to the old year and to welcome the new one. A search for “new year online retreats” or “virtual new year retreats” will help you to find a list of options available and then you can hone in on one that seems right for you from there. A retreat of this kind will allow you to connect with others while simultaneously reveling in the joys of turning inward.

Happy New Year

No matter what you choose to do this New Year’s Eve, it’s rewarding to make the dawn of a new year memorable. It’s impossible to know what 2023 will bring, but if you try one of the above sober NYE ideas, you know you’ll be starting it out on a happy, healthy, clean and sober foot, and that’s certainly a great way to start.  Happy New Year!

At Clear Sky Recovery, we are here to help you get started on your own path to recovery.  Our ibogaine treatment is innovative and effective, and our staff is standing by to answer any questions you may have about our staff, our facility, or the process.  Please give us a call today!

Tips to Stay Sober During the Holiday Season