Ten Benefits of Having a Sober Holiday Season

Family doing holiday baking

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is fast approaching. This can be a time of great joy and excitement but it can also be a time of worry and stress. When it comes to the holidays, many people have the tendency to overindulge, whether it be with food, presents or alcohol. For those who are newly sober, the holiday season can easily become a daunting time of year to not fall off the wagon. There may be temptations to slip here or there but it is good to remember that there are several benefits to maintaining a life of recovery throughout this time of year.

1. Extra spending money.

When you aren’t spending money on drugs or alcohol it is amazing how much extra money you will have in your life. Suddenly having to choose between buying your next meal and getting that next fix no longer becomes a problem, which makes life that much easier. It’s up to you how you decide to use that extra money but no matter what you end up spending it on it will probably be put to much better use than had it gone to feeding an addiction.

2. You’ll remember the season.

When it comes to living a life of recovery, gone are the days of foggy hangovers and not remembering what happened the night before. You will no longer waste your time going through withdrawal or chasing that next high. Because of this, you will be able to remember all of the special moments that this season has to offer.

3. Less stress.

There is no such thing as a stress-free life but there is no denying that addiction makes life much more stressful. The weight that is lifted from no longer carrying the burden of active addiction is well worth the effort that goes into a life of sobriety. Sure, you will still have stress but at least it won’t be the same type of stress that comes from active addiction.

4. The ability to be present in the moment.

Being sober and clear-minded provides the opportunity to be truly in the current moment without being affected by the fog of drugs and alcohol. When we are genuinely present we are better able to connect with those around us. When this happens we are able to strengthen the relationships that matter most.

5. No feelings of guilt and regret.

No one likes waking up and feeling guilty about things that were said or done under the influence or as a means to get high. This is one of the most freeing aspects of living a life of recovery—an escape from the self-destructive cycle that is an addiction.

6. You can leave anytime you want.

Have you ever been in a situation that was uncomfortable and tense but you were unable to leave because you had been drinking? Well, that no longer becomes an issue when abstaining from drugs and alcohol. If people start to argue and things begin to get tense, you are more than able to head out any time you like. Goodbye awkward family feuds regarding discussions about politics around the holiday table!

7. More room for holiday food.

Who doesn’t love eating a lot on a special holiday? It has become a tradition in the United States culture to eat all the wonderful food we save for these special occasions. When you’re not drinking you will have more room to enjoy one of the best parts of the holiday season: all the amazing food.

8. January will be a breeze.

A lot of people have a really hard time in January getting back to the gym, cutting back on drinking and setting those New Year resolutions to be healthier. When you maintain your sobriety throughout the holiday season it becomes much easier to continue that healthy lifestyle. If you are tired of starting over then make the decision to stick with it, you’ll notice rewards in every area of your life.

9. Your family will be grateful.

No one likes having to worry about a family member drinking too much or overdosing any time of the year—but especially so during the holidays. The constant fear of these sorts of traumatic events happening wears a person down. The best thing you can do for your family, and for yourself, is to maintain your sobriety.

10. More energy for what matters the most.

We often lose sight of what matters the most during this time of year and what the holidays are all about. This becomes even more common when a person is caught up in an addiction. By living a life of recovery you will be able to really be there for your family. This will enable you to form special memories you do not want to forget instead of horrible ones that you wish had never happened. This is perhaps the most beneficial aspect of staying sober at any time of the year.

If you or a loved one are on the fence about making the decision to live a life of recovery, please know that it is the most precious gift you will be able to give or receive, regardless of the season.



After overcoming her own addiction in 2012 Julie went on to become certified as an addiction counselor in order to help others achieve a life of recovery. She worked in the addiction field for 8 years and now uses both her personal and professional experiences with addiction as an influence for her writing.