In my membership group recently, one of my Sobersistas posted a comment about her holiday fears. Here’s what she shared:
“We’re off on a big family holiday in a few weeks and sad as sounds I have a real FOMO going on! Totally irrational but it’s there. I think it’s because all the adults (7 of us) will be drinking apart from me and i love the idea of the drink in the airport, the lunchtime couple of glasses so you can snooze by the pool!”
When you are trying to stop drinking but aren’t quite at that 100% confident stage, it can feel really scary trying to figure out how to stay sober. To help you out, I’ve put together a few ideas that will help you stay sober when you’re off on your holibobs.
Decide beforehand what the purpose of the holiday is for you. Do you need a week or two of total, deep relaxation? You will come home more tired if you drink. Do you need some time to think about a big decision you need to make or a goal you want to achieve? Plan some thinking and journaling time.
Before your holiday get into the habit of drinking water. If you’re not used to it at first it tastes a bit boring but after a short while when your taste buds adjust you will learn that there is nothing sweeter than a cool glass of water. If it’s a sunny destination it’s important to stay hydrated so establishing your water habit before you go will make it easier to continue.
Go online and find out what you can about the hotel or area you will be staying. Check their online menus for mocktails and alcohol-free drinks. Spain is pretty good for this.
Do some research on local heritage and historical sights that you can visit. While everyone is still in bed with their hangovers you can be on a bus to somewhere interesting and even magical, meeting new people and learning something new about the place you’re visiting. Plus you will be able to afford it as you won’t be spending money on alcohol.
Choose a book or two to read and set yourself a goal of finishing them before you come home. A chunky novel is a great idea but you could also consider a personal development book that will help you learn something new about yourself.
Obviously, you’re there to relax but you might want to try yoga and meditation at sunrise, or a beach class that looks fun. Check out places nearby that would be good to walk to.
Do some research before you go about the best spots to witness the glory of a sunrise or sunset and make a plan to go there. There is something quite breathtaking about watching the sunrise – there are often fewer people around too.
Every couple of days or when you’ve visited somewhere interesting, buy a postcard and send it to yourself at home. Tell yourself how wonderful it is to be having a sober holiday. They will take a few weeks to arrive and when they do you can pop them on your fridge or on your vision board to inspire you to stay sober.
Things to Remember
Be out and proud about the choice you have made to eliminate this poisonous crap from your body. Tell anyone who will listen how wonderful it is to be sober and to be finally working towards achieving a goal you have always dreamed about. Your confident stance will often stop people from trying to encourage you to drink.
You paid a lot of money to go on this holiday so it would be a real shame to spend it sitting in bars getting drunk and then missing the best part of the day in bed with a hangover.
If you are with people who drink try meeting them a little later after they have already started drinking. Once most people are a few drinks in they won’t be that interested in what you’re drinking.
It’s okay to lie. If you don’t feel comfortable telling people you want to stop drinking and have to explain yourself, you don’t have to. No one has the right to pressure you into drinking, even if it’s gently, but if you don’t think you’re strong enough to resist it’s okay to tell others any story you like that will preserve your sobriety.
You are in control of you. Prepare for your holiday by thinking about what you want to say when you are faced with the option to drink. If you practice some stock sentences before you go they will pop into your mind more easily. “No thanks” is a good one to remember.
Play it forward. Take a few minutes to play your alternative holidays forward. First, think about what your drinking holiday will be like and how will it feel to come back home. Next, play forward to a sober holiday and imagine how it will feel and how you will be when you come home.
Do you need some personalised, private support to help you overcome your emotional relationship with alcohol? Coaching can give you that private space to get to the bottom of what’s going on with you and I can help you put in place some practical plans that will make staying sober easy. If you would like to find out how I can help you please book in and let’s have a chat. https://bit.ly/3DivMk3 (If you don’t see a time that works for you just reply to this email and I will try and find a time that can work for both of us.)