Not drinking when everyone else is having some alcohol can be very difficult and particularly dangerous for someone who has just checked out of a sober living house. After all, isn’t drinking condoned and expected during Christmas and New Year’s Eve? The holidays can trigger relapse for recovering alcoholics because of the so-called holiday blues. The increased number of social gatherings means more temptations to drink. Avoiding the bottle during the holidays is no mean feat but with proper planning and a steely resolve, it’s possible for you to preserve your vow of sober living. Here’s the continuation of this two-part blog post:

7.   Sweating for sobriety

Boxers, mixed martial artists, and most other athletes stay sober while training for a fight or an event because avoiding alcohol intake helps them perform better. Studies suggest that exercise can help protect your brain against addiction. Strenuous exercise boosts the production of feel-good chemicals known as endorphins in your brain. Endorphins also help increase alertness, boost cardiovascular endurance, beat stress, improve self-esteem, and promote overall wellbeing. Sweat it out hours before a party to load up on endorphins.

8.   Don’t forget your mobile phone

Because even the best laid plans can go awry, make sure that you have your iPhone or Blackberry with you so you can call your family, friends, and even coaches back at the sober living house if you get the urge to drink. If your phone is loaded with music, videos, or apps, it’s better to look antisocial than succumb to the temptation.

9.   Prepare your excuses

There’s a good chance that your host, friends, and even people you don’t know will offer you a drink so be prepared to politely decline by giving out excuses. Tell them you’re the designated driver or that you have to work the next day. Be creative and you won’t have to reveal that you spent some time recovering in a sober living house.

10.   Eat right

This is easier said than done because of all the holiday comfort food around you. But remember: what you eat influences how easy or difficult you find it to stay sober year round. There’s a reason why they serve nutritious food back at the sober living house. A healthy diet increases your ability to abstain from alcohol. Indulging your sweet tooth is dangerous because research shows that high sugar intake increases alcohol cravings.

11.   Volunteer

Remember the people who have helped you recover when you stayed at a sober living house. You can repay them by serving as a volunteer for charitable institutions during the holidays. This not only gives you an opportunity to serve others but also allows you to do something for yourself as volunteering takes away the desire to imbibe at parties.

12.   Rid yourself of resentment

Don’t allow a person you resent to continue to rent a space in your head. Harboring resentment is a fatal flaw for a recovering person, says the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The holiday season is a good time to release your resentments. First, you will need to realize that you are resentful and recognize why you are resentful. Be open to forgiveness and reconciliation. You can never truly be free unless you decide to forgive the person you resent.