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The New Year is upon us. Another year has passed and 2022 is on the horizon. Can you believe it?

One of the biggest celebrations of the year is New Year’s Eve, but it also comes with the societal pressure to drink. If you are one of the many people looking to start a “no drinking alcohol” resolution, how do you ring in the new year without the celebratory champagne toast? If you are a recovering alcoholic or have an addiction, the thought of this celebration may be daunting.

The question is, can you still have a night out without the alcohol? Yes, of course. Follow these 3 tips for a way to plan for an alcohol-free celebration.

Hollie White, MSW, ASPW, is the Project Coordinator for Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW/HWPP). She gives detailed resources and advice about navigating a night without booze.

1. Perspective Changes

Celebrate your accomplishments and look forward to new goals

If you are dealing with addiction, the holidays can be a tempting time to tap into unwanted behaviors. Healthier choices are available for those trying to stay away from alcoholic drinks or related behaviors.

White recommends making a change in your perspective. Easier said than done right? Whether you are trying to get sober, stay sober, or just put a pause on partying, there are ways to be successful at it.

Changing your perspective can allow you to see what really matters. She says, “New Year’s is a time to reflect on what you accomplished in the past year and goal setting for the following year.”

She encourages people to “take some time to praise yourself for the ways in which you grew in 2021, and what direction you want to go in 2022.”

To achieve a healthier lifestyle, you must put yourself first. The New Year is a great time to start fresh. White says, “Not happy with mistakes or lack of follow-through on some 2021 goals? Give yourself some grace! These times are anything but ordinary, and even if ‘all you did’ was survive, then you are doing awesome.”

2. Find Alternatives

Be social – know what you are doing, where you will be, and who will be there

Finding alternatives for partying may be tough. Friends and families are having gatherings, restaurants are having specials and the bars are open for customers. All of these activities seem fun, but going out could be problematic.

Alternatives are the way to go whether you are looking for a safer route because of COVID-19 or because you want to stay away from the drinking scene.

White says, “I would have a plan of some fun activities that you love, which will make those activities more enticing than relapsing. Make a plan with some supportive friend(s) and have a fun-filled evening doing other things where you are less likely to be triggered. You got this!”

Activties To do:
  • Visit Inmoxicated at 329 Main St, in Racine, a new sober bar – or “sobar” – that sells fun mocktails, has darts and all of the makings of a bar, without the liquor!
  • Enjoy art? Have some friends over, offer mocktails and make vision boards together for 2022 using mixed media, magazines, etc. 
  • Practice mindfulness throughout the day to ground yourself, and give yourself grace because sobriety is HARD.
  • Use mindfulness resources such as the Inner Explorer app; originally designed for students, however, numerous adults and families have found that daily use is beneficial for all ages.
  • Have friends or family over for a game night.
  • Cook dinner or make fun appetizers.
  • Go to a movie.

3. Lean on Resources

A healthier Wisconsin looks like a community full of resources

The Racine County Human Services’ Family Resources website has a variety of health information available to help achieve this for the community. Asking for help and reaching out can be a tough task. When you feel stuck in the mud, it might be hard to know where to put your foot next. Move forward by using the resources available.

Hollie White has compiled the following list of helpful resources:

The New Year is a time to start fresh and to make healthier choices. It’s a time to make you the best version of yourself. If you are struggling with mental health, substance abuse or any trauma there is help available.

Note: Hollie White is a licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker with a Master’s in Social Work. She encourages people to reach out to a certified substance abuse counselor if further advice or help is needed.

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