Super Bowl LII is February 4, and parties are often full of triggers that can threaten your sobriety. If you choose to attend game-day celebrations, you can always plan to bring your own non-alcoholic beverage, such as sparkling cider or non-alcoholic beer, but there are also other options.
Whether this is the first or the twentieth Super Bowl that you’re navigating sober, these universal tips can help you stay steady in your recovery while enjoying the big game.
Host a Sober Super Bowl
Just because it’s a Super Bowl party doesn’t mean alcohol has to be involved. Instead, try hosting a sober Super Bowl party for friends and family. Having a variety of non-alcoholic beverages on hand will keep your guests refreshed and sober. You can enjoy favorite party foods, such as wings, chips and salsa, and pizza while cheering on your favorite team. A successful sober party can create a fun new tradition that doesn’t involve alcohol.
If you don’t feel like throwing your own party, many organizations will host their own sober parties for those in the community who wish to have fun without alcohol. The local newspaper or a community website will often identify these events.
In recovery, HALT stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired.1 These are four feelings that can be harmful to your sobriety, particularly at a party, because they can trigger cravings. Avoiding these triggers can help you have a successful day with friends.
Prepare yourself by getting plenty of sleep the night before. Engaging in a stress-relieving exercise, such as yoga or deep breathing before heading to the party can help you feel calmer and ready to take on the event. To prevent loneliness, take a friend with you who knows you are sober and can help keep you focused on your sobriety during the event. If at any time you start to feel one of these four triggers at the party, be ready to promptly address them or know that it’s time to leave.
Skip the Party Altogether
If attendees of the party will include people who you used to drink or do drugs with, or if you know a person will be there who causes you stress and creates conflict, it might be best to decline the invitation and make alternate plans. There’s nothing wrong with staying home with a few close friends who want to see you sober and happy. This is especially true if you are newly sober, because sticking to a routine is important to reducing the risk of relapse.2
Another option is to commit to attending just for the first quarter. This way, you can say you went to the party, but you don’t have to stay while others continue drinking and possibly overindulging.
Remember What’s Most Important
Whatever point you’re at in your sobriety, remember that you and your commitment to yourself and your sobriety are more important that any one event. A Super Bowl celebration or any other social gathering is nothing compared to the accomplishment you have achieved by giving up drugs and alcohol. Keeping this thought first in your mind can help guide you through this day and beyond.