There is more to St. Patrick’s Day than green beer, despite the fact that it is a holiday typically known for drinking and shenanigans. If that’s how you’ve always celebrated in the past, it can be hard to picture the holiday being fun sans alcohol now that you’re in recovery. But it certainly can be if you take advantage of other opportunities that exist and set your mind on having a good time.
First of all, avoid the bar scene. Even if you think you’re strong enough to avoid temptation, it’s not worth the risk. You’ve put far too much time, energy, money, and effort into your recovery to throw it all away over one holiday. Focus instead on family-friendly, sober activities that put you in the Irish spirit.
Catch a parade. Many towns have St. Patrick’s Day parades with floats, music, entertainers, food, games, and more. Because these events are geared toward families, you’re less likely to get caught up in a drinking scene.
Host your own party. Start a new tradition and invite friends over for your own celebration. Throw some corned beef and cabbage in the Crockpot, slather some green icing on cupcakes, and break out your favorite shamrock t-shirt. Have games, music, and other activities for entertainment.
Whip up non-alcoholic drinks. Did you know that most alcoholic drinks can be made without alcohol and still taste delicious? Serve a variety of ‘mocktails’ that use ice cream, sherbet, sparkling grape juice or soda water instead.
Run a 5k or other race. Many charities use holidays for fundraising through races of all distances. Lace up your sneakers and support your sobriety by running for a good cause. You’ll get a natural adrenaline rush, fit in some exercise, and feel good knowing you’re helping others. You can also enjoy the camaraderie of other runners and dress up in your best green garb.
You can also attend a support group meeting to help reinforce your confidence and see how others celebrate the holiday in sobriety. Apply what you learned in inpatient treatment and make the most of the holiday without derailing your recovery.
Join the conversation on Facebook and tell us how you’ll be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day sober this year!