Fun Ways to Celebrate Halloween Sober
For many, Halloween is the gateway to the holiday season. But unlike other holidays that involve cooking and gift-buying, Halloween is strictly for the fun of it. For people in recovery, ‘fun’ used to involve alcohol and drugs, and many Halloween parties adults attend may still involve those substances. As a recovering individual, it’s crucial to remain mindful of your continued progress. Halloween is a wonderfully fun holiday, and you can continue to enjoy this holiday without compromising your recovery. Here’s how:
Preparing for a Sober Halloween
To ensure you spend Halloween sober, make a plan for how you intend to enjoy the holiday. If you’ve already been through substance abuse treatment programs, you know how important it is to stay mindful of your surroundings, triggers to use, emotional state, and relapse prevention strategies. There may come a time when staying sober is utterly second nature to you–when you can be around others who are drinking or using drugs without feeling the urge to use–but early in your recovery journey, it’s a good idea to avoid situations where drugs and alcohol might be, to put it plainly, passed around like candy. To spend your Halloween sober, plan some alternative fun that doesn’t involve people or places where drinking or drug use is on the menu.
The Guide to Celebrating Halloween Sober
When you’re recovering from alcohol addiction or drug addiction, you can rely on these sober Halloween activities to celebrate the holiday. They can help you keep your addiction recovery progress on track.
Scary Movie Marathon
Halloween is the perfect time to watch horror movies. Invite some friends or loved ones over to enjoy your ‘haunted film festival’. You can serve Halloween fun foods and decorate to create a spooky ambiance. Invite guests to make movie suggestions so you can have the films ready to go when your guests arrive.
Attend Some Haunted Houses
Get into the Halloween spirit by visiting haunted houses in your area. Some spooky venues also feature Halloween mazes. These Halloween activities can put you in a Halloween mood. You can cap off the day by going out for pizza with a few friends afterward.
Host Your Own Halloween Party
Consider hosting a Halloween party for your family and friends. Make it a sober party with spooky Halloween treats and punch. The fact is, lots of people don’t drink or use drugs and certainly won’t miss them by attending a party where they aren’t served. If you’re in a situation where your friends prefer to drink on Halloween, think about inviting new acquaintances you met at your alcohol and drug treatment center. A sober Halloween party gives you the opportunity to set the rules and design an evening that doesn’t involve any of your triggers.
Plan a Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Create a fun Halloween scavenger event for your friends or extended family. Give all the participants a printed list of items to ask for around town. The first to find all the items and turn them in wins a fun prize. Your list might include a plastic spider ring, candy corn, and pumpkin seeds.
Candy Game Night
If you and your friends enjoy cards or board games, host a Halloween-themed game night. Instead of betting with coins and cash, play with candy. If you intend to host lots of guests, plan a Halloween Bingo game night. Ask everyone to contribute some candy to the kitty and provide additional snacks for guests to enjoy.
Host a Bonfire
Set up a firepit and invite a few loved ones or friends to sit outdoors for a bonfire. Enjoy cooking hotdogs and smores over the flames as you greet trick-or-treaters that visit for candy treats. This is a great way to feel connected to your neighborhood while enjoying a more relaxing holiday. You can add some fun sober activities to your outdoor fun with a game of sandbags or cards.
Pumpkin Carving Contest
Invite your friends or family over for a pumpkin carving contest. In fact, you can organize a trip to an area of pumpkin patch so everyone can pick their own pumpkin. Then, return to your home where you and your guests can get to work carving and decorating your Halloween jack-o-lanterns. This makes for a fun sober Halloween.
Evening with Edgar
There’s no law that says you have to leave home or attend a raucous Halloween event. If you feel like it, plan a night at home with your copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories. Treat yourself to a bookish Halloween. Make your favorite snacks and delight in keeping your recovery journey on track. In fact, if you don’t prefer spooky reads, choose a different book or catch up on a show you’re streaming. Make this Halloween entirely yours.
Bring Your Own Beverages
If you do intend to connect with friends by attending a not-so-sober Halloween party, come prepared with your own beverages. You might also want to prepare a script so that you know what you’d like to say when you’re offered something you’re committed to abstaining from. If you feel pressured, don’t stick around. Your supportive friends will understand what sober living means for you. Prioritize your addiction recovery over other peoples’ misguided notions of fun.
What Happens If I Relapse?
Drug and alcohol addiction is a chronic condition that is, sometimes, marked by relapse. Plan for recovery success, but if you do relapse, don’t give up on your recovery plan. Relapse tends to mean that you need more substance abuse treatment. A therapist can help you understand where your recovery plan went off track. It’s important to learn from your relapse. The strategies you had in place may need adjusting.
Additionally, you may need more practice in being mindful of the stages of recovery. Typically, relapse doesn’t just ‘happen’ because you showed up at a friend’s Halloween party or a bar. There’s a period of time that comes before when you may have been struggling with your emotions. Negative emotions like fear or sadness can set you up for relapse when they’re not managed effectively. Perhaps you have been fantasizing about using again or minimizing the dangers of ‘just one drink.’
If you relapse, you should reconnect with your drug or alcohol treatment center or contact Resurgence Behavioral Health to learn about our various levels of care designed to meet clients wherever they are on their recovery journey. Drug and alcohol treatment centers can help you begin your recovery journey or get back on track if relapse has occurred.
Happy Halloween from Resurgence Behavioral Health
Resurgence Behavioral Health features medical detox treatment, residential treatment, and outpatient rehab addiction programs. We’re able to provide dual diagnosis treatment for people who also have mental health disorders and need bipolar disorder treatment, PTSD treatment, or depression treatment, for example. Our rehab programs include addiction treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy and art therapy.
We can provide you with an individualized therapy program designed to suit your needs. You can achieve your recovery goals; spending time in alcohol and drug treatment programs will help you learn how to manage your addiction. Contact Resurgence to learn more about our clinically driven recovery programs and have a safe, happy, and sober Halloween!