With St. Patrick’s Day coming up on March 17th, Canadians will be sporting their brightest green, going to parades, and drinking. This can be a festive time, but if you are newly sober, the association between St. Patrick’s Day and alcohol also presents relapse risks. You may feel wary about the social aspect of the holiday, as it can be isolating to watch your friends go bar-hopping without you.
There are ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day without feeling left out or compromising the progress you have made in recovery. To maintain your peace of mind – and avoid becoming green with envy thinking about what others are doing. Make your own plans, without liquor. Here are a few fun ideas that might turn into a whole new yearly tradition:
Hang out with your tightest buds
Whether you plan to throw a party or watch Netflix all day, you should check in with your closest friends that support your recovery process. Even if you are not a party planner, find other activities to do on St. Patrick’s Day with friends that have your back. Whether that means cooking, playing a sport, or going to the movies, there are tons of ways you and a BFF can spend time together. Going out with a peer will reduce your chances of experiencing loneliness, a common relapse trigger. Spending the day outside or starting a new tradition with friends will also occupy your mind while others are out drinking or partying.
Celebrate Irish cooking
The Irish aren’t only known for their rowdy bar bunch. They are known for a whole lot of other things that you can raise a glass of pop to. Instead of taking it to the bar, take it to the kitchen instead. While corned beef and cabbage is a traditional dish (and one that is simple to prepare), the Irish are also known for hearty, flavourful dishes like mutton stew, shepherd's pie, bangers and mash, and salmon. If you enjoy baking, you might want to try making some traditional Irish scones or soda bread to enjoy with your non-alcoholic beverage.
Celebrate the culture
On St. Patrick's Day, "everyone's Irish," as the saying goes. You can celebrate the holiday without drinking if you embrace Irish cultural traditions - outside of the kitchen. Put on the green! Some claim that following the Great Irish Rebellion of 1641, the colour evolved into a representation of Irish pride. A quick and enjoyable way to get into the holiday spirit on St. Patrick's Day is to wear something green. Follow that up by attending the parade. Find out if there are any parades in your area, and spend the day admiring the vibrant floats, costumes, and marching bands.
Keep things in perspective
You might still feel as though you are missing out on the fun or find yourself thinking about alcohol, which can cause emotions such as rage, frustration, and sadness. Keep in mind that St. Patrick's Day is only one day out of the year, and there will be happier times ahead, no matter how many complex thoughts or emotions the holiday may elicit. Since you have progressed this far in your recovery, you have the ability to maintain this promising trend.
A person in recovery might find it upsetting to feel pressured to drink on St. Patrick's Day. Finding drug-free ways to partake in the excitement is entirely doable, though. It can be especially difficult to stay sober when everyone else seems to be drinking but consider all the obstacles you have faced. You can celebrate a sober St. Patrick's Day while still having fun if you put your attention on alternative activities, pay attention to your emotions, and maintain relationships with others.