People in early recovery sometimes feel apprehensive about their first sober St. Patrick’s Day, and wonder about how to prioritize recovery on a day that is notorious for drinking.
If this is your first sober St. Patrick’s Day know that you are not alone; there are many people living in recovery who have a fun – and sober – St. Patrick’s Day every year. Social media and societal pressures can lead us to believe that holidays like St. Patrick’s Day are made for drinking, when in fact this is not the case for millions of people all around the globe.
There are several ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and prioritize recovery!
Remind yourself of all the reasons your sobriety is important and feel empowered that you are fully present for all of life’s experiences. Reflect on all the recovery milestones you have achieved so far and stay focused on all your goals for the future.
Stay Close to Your Recovery Community
If you are apprehensive about feeling ‘left out’ of St. Patrick’s Day festivities, make plans to spend time with the people in your recovery community and/or people who support your recovery. It’s helpful to be surrounded by people who understand how you feel and who are as proud of your recovery as you are!
If avoiding St. Patrick’s Day festivities makes the most sense for you, plan to treat yourself instead! Take a yoga class, go to the movies, get a massage, or have friends over for an Irish-themed dinner, for example. If you choose to curl up with a good book or watch Netflix to treat yourself, stay mindful of whether or not you are isolating and reach out to a sober friend if you need to.
Have a Plan
Whether you are planning to attend an event this St. Patrick’s Day or not, it’s good to have a plan in the event you experience difficulties or have urges. Ask a supportive family member or friend to be available for you or go to a recovery meeting. If you do attend an event, bring your own transportation so you can leave anytime. Bringing a sober and/or supportive friend with you to an event is also a good idea!
It’s OK to Say No
Sometimes the best thing to do is to say ‘no’ to an event or situation that could be hazardous to your recovery. Saying ‘no’ to a potentially difficult event in advance reduces stress leading up to St. Patrick’s Day and allows you to make alternative plans. If you experience pressure to attend an event, remind yourself that nothing is more important than your recovery and gracefully decline.
There are many St. Patrick’s Day events and festivities that are fun to participate in, including parades, small festivals, bands, and Irish themed community events. Get together with your recovery friends and go out and have a good time!
About Herren Wellness
When you come to Herren Wellness, you are immediately connected with a thriving community of people at all stages of their recovery journey. We introduce healthy habits and routines centered around emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness that provide a solid foundation for rediscovering your interests, experiencing joy in sobriety, and building structure and routine.
We provide several alumni support communities, including a weekly recovery support group, monthly alumni meeting, and online alumni community you can access anytime. Your connection to Herren Wellness doesn’t end when your stay ends; we are there for you throughout your recovery journey.