As Easter approaches, the allure of festive celebrations often involves socialising with friends and family, and copious amounts of chocolate.
It may also involve drinking… and this brings added social pressure to individuals looking to stay alcohol-free this year.
With any festive event, it can be challenging to say no to alcohol, regardless if you’re quitting booze for a season, or on the path to sobriety.
In this rather shorter article, we provide some valuable tips to consider during Easter celebrations while still being able to enjoy the festivities.
Tips for Staying Sober at Easter Celebrations
Easter celebrations can sometimes be synonymous with alcohol, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time while staying true to going alcohol-free.
Unlike Australia Day, Easter does have a lesser emphasis on booze, but given the festive nature of most events, alcohol is likely to make an appearance.
Here are some practical tips to navigate these social gatherings:
Have An Easter Celebrations Plan
Going to an easter party knowing there will be alcohol, means you need to have a plan in advance. How long are you staying? If the pressure gets too much, what’s your Plan B?
Ensure the event has friends or family who understand your commitment, these people keep you accountable, and should you choose to leave, create understanding.
Bring Your Own Alcohol-Free Drinks
To avoid the feeling of missing out (FOMO), bring some non-alcoholic beverages you enjoy.
Having your own drinks also discourages others from offering you alcohol, while also keeping you comfortable and social.
Non-alcoholic beverages are easily accessible these days, including options for beer, wine and spirits!
Engage in Activities
Participating in easter-themed games or activities will keep you occupied and create some fun.
This also takes the focus off drinking for yourself and others, and shows you how much fun you really can have without alcohol!
Dealing with Peer Pressure and Awkward Questions
Peer pressure is usually at the top of the totem pole when it comes to not drinking at parties, and this may translate also at your next easter celebrations.
While this component is stressful, it doesn’t help that people will also want to ask you awkward questions with no prior understanding.
Here are some tips to handling awkward questions about not drinking, and ways to deal with peer pressure to drink in social settings.
Have Confident Responses
Responding confidently and casually when offered a drink, “No, thank you, I’m not drinking tonight” is often enough.
To avoid feeling caught off guard, you may wish to prepare a few responses to common questions about not drinking. You don’t necessarily have to tell strangers you’re in sobriety either if you’re not comfortable.
Keep it Simple
Don’t feel like you have to tell people your whole story, unless it comes up in conversation, because sometimes it does spark good discussion.
When responding to people, keep it simple, and only give them more if they ask. Don’t make dealing with the peer pressure more difficult than it has to be.
Politely steer conversations in a positive direction to avoid dwelling on your choice not to drink.
Sometimes, if it’s too much, shift focus away from your sobriety by asking others about their easter plans, or what they’ve been up to recently.
Remember, you’re not really at the party to tell people of your sobriety, easter celebrations are about fun and enjoying the moments.
Coping with Social Anxiety without Alcohol
For some people, social situations can trigger anxiety, making it more tempting to turn to alcohol for comfort.
Alcohol is also a social lubricant and is often used as a tool to cope with social anxiety at parties or events.
Here’s how to cope with anxiety at your next easter celebrations without relying on alcohol:
Use Deep Breathing
Learning some short deep breathing exercises can help calm your nerves in the moment.
Simply taking a moment to breathe deeply can alleviate anxiety or provide a sense of control.
Some simple breathing methods include:
- Box Breathing: 4 seconds in, 4 seconds pause, 4 seconds out, 4 seconds pause. This method distracts your mind and also calms your nervous system.
- 2-1 Method: Take two short inhales in, and one long breath out. This method is something common you see in babies and animals to help create immediate calm.
Have a Support System
Similar to having someone to keep you accountable, having someone you trust at the event who can offer support should you feel overwhelmed.
Simply having someone there can reduce stress, and make you feel more comfortable socialising without alcohol.
Use Natural Supplements
Natural supplements can be an effective method to calm your nervous system prior to the event.
Of course, when it comes to supplementation, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional first. Not all stress-supporting supplements are immediate, so keep that in mind too.
As you hop through Easter celebrations, remember that sobriety is an achievement worth celebrating.
By following these tips, you can confidently navigate social gatherings, making the most of the holiday without compromising your commitment.
Embrace the joy of sober celebrations, and let bunny hops be the highlight of your Easter this year.
May your Easter be filled with joy, connection, and the satisfaction of staying true to yourself.
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Former drinker, Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and better understand the nature of addiction. His goal is to help people take control of their addiction, reset their cravings, unscramble their broken brain circuitry and use actionable strategies that work ten times better than anything else.