The 4th of July is a day full of friends, family, food, and celebration. But, for those in recovery, this day can be challenging. Like many social events, July 4th typically involves drinking alcohol which can challenge sobriety.
Instead of avoiding the party, try these sobriety celebration ideas to enjoy a sober 4th of July. Whether this is your first sober 4th of July or you are a recovery veteran, this day can be challenging to your sobriety. If you think you may drink, reach out for help.
Facts About Alcohol and The Fourth of July
Although people spend July 4th celebrating our nation’s freedom with bar-b-ques and fireworks, the fun sometimes turns tragic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this holiday is one of the deadliest due to drunk driving.
- In 2021, 538 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday.
- Between 2017 and 2021, 1460 drivers were killed in vehicle crashes on July 4th holiday. 38 percent, or 552 of the drivers killed, had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. And 44 percent of the drivers were drunk and ages 21 to 34.
Besides increasing motor vehicle crashes, consuming alcohol while grilling, lighting fireworks, and participating in outdoor activities increases the risk of alcohol-related injuries.
Why Independence Day Can Be Difficult for Those in Recovery
drunk alcoholic lain business man drinking whiskey from the bottle and glass depressed wasted and sad at home couch in alcohol abuse and alcoholism conceptIndependence Day is often spent enjoying the outdoors with friends and family. And for many people, the fun involves alcohol. Whether at a BBQ or the beach, you may end up in a situation where alcohol is available.
This holiday can be extremely difficult for people in early recovery or someone struggling with staying sober. Since holidays can trigger a relapse, it is important to have a plan if you are tempted to drink.
For example, if you are new to recovery, some friends and family may not know you are celebrating a sober 4th of July. As a result, you may be in a position where they offer you a drink. While this can be triggering, you are in control and can say no.
Just because you say no to drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you have less fun. You may have more fun without it. Including sober celebration ideas can be as fun as drinking. Furthermore, you will be mentally present for all the fun.
How to Enjoy Sober Holidays
Enjoying sober holidays can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your sober holidays:
- Prepare for the holiday celebration by considering your triggers and potential challenges. Create a schedule or outline of activities that align with your recovery goals.
- Spend time with friends, family, or loved ones who understand and respect your commitment to sobriety. Seek out a positive and uplifting company that encourages your sober lifestyle.
- Take charge of the celebration by hosting your alcohol-free event. Plan a sober barbecue, picnic, game night, or themed party. By organizing the event, you have control over the atmosphere and activities.
- Use this opportunity to create new traditions that are centered around your sobriety. Engage in adventure activities such as hiking, biking, going to the beach, watching movies, or participating in sober group outings.
- Holidays can be stressful, so it’s important to prioritize self-care. Take time by practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in mindfulness exercises, or pursuing hobbies that bring you joy.
- Physical activity can help distract you from cravings and boost your mood. Consider participating in local holiday-themed races, outdoor games, or other activities that align with the holiday spirit.
- Look for local community events specifically designed for those in recovery. Many areas have organized alcohol-free celebrations or recovery-focused gatherings. Attending support group meetings can also provide connection and support during the holiday season.
- Give back to your community by volunteering during the holiday. There are often opportunities to assist at local charity events, food drives, or other community initiatives. Helping others can bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
- Holidays are an excellent time to reflect on your journey and practice gratitude. Write down the things you are grateful for, share them with others, or start a gratitude journal to maintain a positive mindset.
- Remember that it’s okay to feel a mix of emotions during sober holidays. Give yourself permission to experience those feelings and seek support if needed. Celebrate your achievements and embrace the progress you’ve made in your recovery.
Sobriety Celebration Ideas: Tips For Enjoying Independence Day
Being sober doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. And a sober 4th of July can be just as fun as one with alcohol. Whether you throw a party free of alcohol and drugs or believe you can be at a party with alcohol and not drink, the following sobriety celebration ideas can help you have a sober 4th of July.
Kickstart your day by attending a recovery meeting. Starting with a supportive community and fellowship will strengthen your recovery and provide ongoing support as the day progresses
Spend the holiday with people who understand and respect your recovery journey. This reduces the chances of encountering triggering situations. They may even choose to abstain from substances themselves, but if they do decide to drink, supportive friends won’t pressure or shame them into joining them.
Use the 4th of July to show off your culinary skills with a BBQ feast. Get creative with red, white, and blue treats and summer salads. Focusing on delicious food will make it easier to pass up alcohol or other substances while having something enjoyable to look forward to.
Wherever you decide to go, make sure you have your transportation. This gives you the freedom to leave when you want. You have control over your schedule.
It’s wise to have an escape plan in case you become triggered or overwhelmed. You can excuse yourself by saying you’re not feeling well or have another event to attend. If you choose to leave, consider asking a friend to accompany you so you won’t be alone the rest of the day.
Many of your friends in recovery might be concerned about staying sober during the lively Fourth of July parties. By organizing your sober gathering, you provide them with a safe environment to celebrate while also retaining control over the day’s events.
Ensure your phone is charged and have the phone numbers of several people you can call if needed. This way, you’ll have someone to contact for support if you require help.
Despite all the precautions and sober celebrations available, facing challenges is normal. Feel free to speak up if you’re struggling or feeling triggered. Reach out to your sponsor, text a supportive friend, or attend a meeting. They will help you remember why you chose sobriety in the first place.
Staying Committed After Alcohol Rehab
If you’re like most people, you entered alcohol rehab because you were tired of the life of addiction. Maybe your addiction destroyed your relationships, career, and belief in yourself. Recovery brings the hope of regaining your life and relationships.
Focusing on the positives rehab can bring motivates many people to maintain recovery. However, once you are out in the “real world” and face stressors and difficulties, it can be hard to stay committed to recovery.
What’s important is how you deal with these daily struggles. Will you let them hold you back or keep you committed after alcohol rehab? If you struggle to stay committed to your recovery, the following can help you stay on track.
Starting your recovery journey after being trapped in the cycle of addiction is a significant accomplishment. When you’re feeling down and find it hard to keep going in your recovery, a great way to motivate yourself again is to remember why you started in the first place. Reflecting on these reasons will help reignite your determination and remind you why you’re committed to a life without addiction.
In addition to recalling the reasons that led you to recovery, it’s crucial to remind yourself of the positive impact it will have on your overall life. It’s natural to feel discouraged during the early stages of recovery when encountering obstacles and realizing it’s a challenging path.
However, understanding the benefits, such as a longer and healthier life and the pursuit of happiness, can be powerful motivation to continue and maintain your recovery. By keeping these rewards in mind, you can find the strength and determination to continue your journey, even when faced with challenges.
Neglecting self-care can negatively affect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, especially during the early stages of recovery. If you’re feeling unmotivated, assessing whether you’ve been prioritizing self-care is essential. If not, consider these tips to help you stay on track:
- Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night to support your overall health and recovery.
- Choose nutritious foods like protein-rich snacks, fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats to give your body essential nutrients.
- Incorporate exercise into your routine multiple times a week, aiming for at least 30 minutes daily to promote physical and mental well-being.
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated and avoid drowsiness, impacting your energy levels and overall vitality.
- Keeping your living and working environments organized can bring peace and clarity to your mind.
- Avoid isolation by connecting with others who support your recovery journey. Building meaningful relationships can boost your mood and provide a sense of belonging.
- Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as practicing mindfulness, engaging in hobbies, or seeking professional support.
- Connect with a higher power or engage in spiritual practices that resonate with you, as they can provide guidance, solace, and a sense of purpose during your recovery journey.
When you feel overwhelmed by negativity and uncertainty, it’s easy to overlook the positive aspects of your life. However, by acknowledging and appreciating the things you have, you can remind yourself that goodness exists, and more good things are on the horizon.
One effective way to grow gratitude is journaling or mentally listing your gratitude before bedtime. Remember, giving up won’t solve your problems or bring you happiness. Recovery has the potential to offer you these positive outcomes, but it requires effort and commitment on your part.
Isolation contributes to feelings of depression, anxiety, and self-doubt. This traps you in a continuous loop of negative thinking. But, when you seek support from others, you open yourself up to valuable advice and fresh perspectives that you may not have considered.
Reaching out also enables you to connect with the recovery community. This allows you to build a strong sober support network that assists during hard times. Hearing success stories from those who have faced similar struggles and triumphed can be incredibly comforting.
The recovery journey can feel overwhelming, especially if you are just beginning. The initial challenges may lead to self-doubt and questioning your ability to succeed. However, one effective way to overcome this feeling is by setting specific and realistic goals within a.
For instance, an attainable goal in early recovery could be to complete the treatment program offered at a rehab center. Staying committed to the entire program allows you to fully benefit from the treatment while demonstrating a commitment to your well-being.
Take time to reflect on what you want to achieve and then develop a plan to make it happen. By setting achievable goals and planning accordingly, you can regain confidence in your ability to recover.
Find Support for Sober Holidays
July 4th and other holidays can be difficult for those in recovery. But you don’t have to face them alone. At Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery, we offer a variety of alcohol addiction treatment programs to support you in having a sober 4th of July and other holidays.
Depending on your addiction and personal needs, we offer the following treatment programs:
Learn More About Alcohol Rehab at Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse or alcohol use disorder, you are not alone. Alcohol is one of the hardest addictions to beat since it is the easiest to obtain. Contact us to find out how our treatment programs can support you during holidays and all year.
Kendall Maloof is the clinical director at Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and has held multiple leadership roles before settling here at Eagle Creek. Kendall received her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2016. Her career in mental and behavioral health began in 2014 when she took up internships in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. She interned at multiple reputable companies, such as The Living Success Center and 449 Recovery in California.
In 2019, Kendall became the clinical director of Sunsets Recovery for Woman, a dual diagnosis program in southern California. Kendall is a natural leader. She has an incredible ability to problem solve and stay calm in any situation. Kendall never fails to show up when she is needed, and her calm demeanor makes her team and clients feel at ease. Eagle Creek Ranch Recovery is proud to have Kendall as our clinical director.