New Year’s Eve is here – a night synonymous with *trigger warning* champagne, body shots and keg stands (if you’re still in your college years), and fancy trays of white powder. And if you’re someone who likes to party like it’s 1999 on the regular, then you may very well be used to experiencing frequent bouts of these types of indulgences. And we’re not just talking on NYE, but also Uncle Charlie’s wedding, your baby bro’s Bat Mitzvah, Monday night, Wednesday night, Friday night…you get the idea.

Whether you’re in early recovery, trying to put together some clean time, or you’ve been sober for a while, New Year’s Eve and other special events where alcohol or drugs are present can be challenging. So, we’ve compiled a list of activities that can be just as much fun as a big drunk fest and, in our humble opinion, far more fulfilling than getting wasted.

Here are five awesome ways to ring in the new year (or enjoy any evening, really) sober:

  1. Meditate and set intentions – sure, we know it sounds a little woo-woo but hey, what’s not to love about getting woo-woo and excited about the new year? Also, you don’t need to be entering into a new calendar year to set intentions. Light some candles, throw on some James Brown (or Deep Forest if you’re meditating), break out your favorite notepad, and start writing down the things you want to accomplish. Or make it a craft party and invite friends over to make vision boards! It’s fun to dream and set intentions about the things that light us up, whether our goals are to travel more, switch careers, love more, give back to the community, go skydiving, or all of the above. Dream big, put pen to notebook (or glue stick to construction paper) and start being inspired. The world is your oyster!
  2. Go on a vacation. You know all that money that you’re saving on booze or drugs? You can use it to buy that plane ticket to Morocco you’ve been dreaming about all those drunken nights when you were wobbling around bragging about your future Moroccan rug and tapestry collection that didn’t yet exist. Well, guess what? It will exist next month, of course, because you’re about to book that flight! 😉
  3. Plan a fun dinner with friends. Going out to dinner with friends is totally underrated but it’s such a fun thing to do, particularly if you get the right group together. Are you part of a sober support group, like AA, NA, or similar? Why not gather a crew of sober fellows and make it a big fat dinner party over at your favorite local Italian or sushi joint? Good food, tasty appetizers, sparkling water, great company, and dessert are the perfect ingredients for a stellar night out. And you don’t have to have a drop of alcohol to have a good time. Plus, if you’re all sober, you’re all on the same page which eliminates the awkward conversation about why you’re not drinking.
  4. Game night with appetizers! Are you sensing that we have a thing for appetizers? The thing that’s cool about game night is that it gets everyone at the party engaged, as long as you choose the right game. It also doesn’t cost much money to host a game night. Just provide the games which could even be freebies like charades, and have your pals bring their own dishes by making it a pot luck. Game nights can be so much fun and when everyone is sober, this means that everyone is going to wake up the next day feeling good, once again. Gotta love hangover free mornings.
  5. Find a soup kitchen or an animal shelter that’s open late and give your time to a good cause. Volunteering, particularly in early recovery, can be a really great way to get out of self as opposed to obsessing over the fact that you’re newly sober and can’t drink or use. It’s also a great way to move past the underlying issues of self-doubt, anger, depression, loneliness, or whatever that “thing” was or is that may make you crave a drink or a drug. Plus, it just feels good to be of service.

So, there you have it. Five of our favorite alternatives to drinking or using over New Year’s or any other special (or even non-special) occasion. Of course, there are virtually endless sober activities to partake in and you’ll even find similar lists with different suggestions in other blog posts on the site. The bottom line here is that you don’t need to drink or use to have a good time. Moreover, if you’re ever tempted to pick up, keeping a close group of friends or connections who are also in recovery will always ensure that you have someone you can call up and talk to. Stay close to whichever recovery program you’re working, and keep that network of sober fellows of yours close as well. There’s power in numbers, and you never have to do this alone.

To that end, if you or someone you love is battling addiction, Kembali Recovery Center is just a phone call, message, or email away. Contact us today to learn all about our 28-treatment program and other offerings. It’s a great place to begin your recovery journey while gaining the tools and building the personal bonds that will help keep you sober over the long term.

Our Kembali family would like to wish you and yours a very happy new year, filled with all of the gifts and milestones that recovery has to offer. Here’s to a stellar (and sober) 2019!

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