ANYTHING is cooler. Ok, just kidding, that wouldn't make for a very practical list now would it?
The holidays are a lovely time for being grateful, giving back, and spending time with your family and friends. Of course we all know what else the holidays are good for, and that's drinking. Even though the holidays might get you nostalgic for the drink, you should know there are tons of other cooler things you could be doing. I'm here to remind you of the multitude of things that are cooler than drinking during the holidays.
Is there anything better than food during the holidays? The answer is no. The holidays are the perfect time to try new restaurants or food you've never had before. It's time to hit that Indian spot down the street and see what everyone's raving about. Or, you can rekindle your romance with mom's cooking. If Christmas doesn't get you excited for meatloaf, turkey, stuffing, and every flavor of pie under the sun you are missing out. December is a great month to become a chef yourself too. Cooking classes can become your new hobby, or you can finally try those 50 Pinterest recipes you pinned once and never looked at again. I'll be using my juicer that I got for my birthday in June and haven't used yet (oops.) The possibilities with cooking and eating are endless and are definitely cooler than drinking.
2. Seeing the world
There's nothing more tragic that being stuck in the same town forever. Being sober will take you places you've never been before, literally. I know when I was drunk all the time, I still traveled, but everything was a blur. I barely remember some pretty amazing places, or they are tainted with drunken regrets and I don't want to remember them. Now, I am 100% present when I travel. I can appreciate every trip, every site I see, and every new piece of information I learn along the way. If you can use your holidays this year to travel, I recommend you do so and leave the drinking behind.
3. Do nothing
When you have some extra time off work over the next few weeks, don't force yourself to rush around and be social if you aren't feeling it. One thing I have learned about sobriety is that rest time is imperative. Remember all those nights you didn't sleep or you didn't enter REM because you were wasted? Yeah, now you have the amazing ability to sleep normally! Use this holiday to rest, recuperate, catch up on your reading, TV watching, or write in your journal. Think of how refreshed and revitalized you will be to take on the new year.
4. Making new year's resolutions
Included in the holiday season is the New Year celebration. There are much cooler ways to celebrate New Year's than drinking. Gasp! I know, it's hard to believe. I didn't think it was true until I got sober. That's why I'm here to tell you, there is nothing better than ringing in a new year sober. Trust me you will not miss blacking out and not knowing what you're celebrating or who you're kissing at midnight. Removing the alcohol factor will really allow you to embrace the ending of an entire year and welcome the serenity and excitement that a new one brings. Going along with that, writing your own New Year's resolutions can be therapeutic and take on real meaning now that you're sober. It's the perfect time to set goals for the coming here: pick out new hobbies, commit to running a marathon, pick a vacation and save for it, or buy that new car.
'Tis the season for giving and if you are in recovery it's always a good time for service. What better way to feel good during the holidays and avoid drinking than volunteering? If you attend meetings, you should give back, chair a meeting at a prison or a rehab center, or talk to a treatment center. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen. Get involved with the causes that mean something to you personally. There's something about giving back that can help you find your place in the world and makes you feel like you are worth giving this life your best shot. Plus, you are helping others, and that's just plain humbling.
These 5 amazing things only scratch the surface of the plethora of activities that span this Earth that are infinitely cooler than drinking. So don't spend the holidays feeling sorry for yourself and questioning why is it that you can't drink. One drink won't make you normal and one night out won't make everything better. Instead, focus your energy on new hobbies or skills - see the world, better yourself! The best part about all of these things is that you're sober, you're evolving, you're becoming more you.