As we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day 2021, many in recovery, as well as people who just want to cut down on their drinking, may understandably feel a sense of anxiety and uncertainty. Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the year’s main drinking holidays of even in normal times, and when you add the pandemic fatigue factor into the mix, there’s a valid concern that this year’s celebrations will be a little…extra. As states start to lift mask mandates and remove restrictions on bars and restaurants, and the CDC relaxes guidelines for indoor gatherings among vaccinated people, many will be “drinking up for lost time”, so to speak. Over half the country says they plan to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, leaving an entire community of people who want to steer clear of alcohol potentially experiencing a sense of FOMO. But fear not, even if you’re not Irish, luck is still on your side, this year. Here are some tips for a sober Saint Patrick’s Day.
Have Your Cake…and Drink It, Too
Staying sober on Saint Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to mean giving up fun and interesting drinks; it just means cutting the booze from them. There are plenty of options for St. Patrick’s Day “mocktails” that can add a festive and drama-free flare to your celebration. Not only does having these non-alcoholic drink options add flavor to your party menu; they also help sober party guests feel a little more comfortable and “part of the group”. It’s important to realize that the need to fit in can be the determining factor between skipping the booze and deciding to partake, even when you know you shouldn’t. Mocktails ensure that your sober guests still have that “red Solo cup” in their hand and that they don’t have to explain why they’re not drinking.
With Friends Like These, Who Needs Alcohol?!
Ordinarily this phrase is a bit more on the sarcastic side, but the reality is that if you have a community of sober people around you during times of vulnerability, you’ll be less inclined to slip and more empowered to resist cravings and urges. If you’re still looking for something to do for your sober Saint Patrick’s Day, call some friends who “get it”, meaning those who are either part of your recovery community or those who simply understand what you’re going through and don’t need to drink to celebrate. Friends make everything better. Make sure to exercise proper COVID-related caution!
Focus Less on What’s in the Glass and More on What’s on the Plate
Here’s the thing: food is better than booze…that’s a proven fact. Ok, maybe it’s not “proven”, per se, but one way to forget about alcohol this Saint Patrick’s Day is to focus more on the food it often accompanies. There are many Saint Patrick’s Day party foods that can please the taste buds and make you forget all about the booze. You don’t need the taste of alcohol getting in the way of yummy snacks!
Make It Your Own Sober Saint Patrick’s Day
Wear green, read Irish poetry, make a playlist of The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys, Damien Dempsey, Cranberries or other Irish bands, get acquainted with the history of the holiday or do anything else you have to to embrace the spirit of the holiday without drinking alcohol. It’s important to remember that while there are certain Saint Patrick’s Day traditions that can be fun to observe and embrace, you don’t have to make drinking one of them. However you choose to celebrate, or not celebrate, this holiday is entirely up to you.
Avoiding Relapse on Sober Saint Patrick’s Day
There are plenty of people who may just want to “Saint Patrick’s Day sober” by skipping the alcohol this year, but if you’re in recovery, Saint Patrick’s Day can represent a unique and distinct set of social anxieties and triggers. If you’ve been through treatment, remember to rely on your recovery tool kit when faced with high-pressure situations. Call your sponsor if you’re feeling overwhelmed, get insights from your group at your recovery meetings and remember all of the coping mechanisms you developed in treatment and subsequent therapy. Remember, also, that there is nothing wrong with skipping the party this year if you feel like you’ll be too tempted to drink.
We’re Here for You
If you or your loved one realize, as so many do, that your drinking or drug use has gotten out of control this Saint Patrick’s Day, Recovery Unplugged is ready to help you reverse course and take your life back. We offer comprehensive medical detox and behavioral rehab for all types of substance use disorder. Don’t ignore the signs that you’re drinking has gotten the better of you. Confront them and overcome them through compassionate and effective treatment. Recovery Unplugged is ready to help you take the first step.