4 Ways To Have A Happy, Healthy, And Sober Halloween
Staying sober during any holiday season definitely isn’t easy, and the spookiest holiday season of the year is no exception. However, there are tons of ways to have fun while still thriving in your recovery, or even to give back and help others while you celebrate. For just a few suggestions of how you can make the day special without jeopardizing your recovery, simply keep reading!
1. Host Your Own Halloween Party
Having a Halloween party of your own may require some extra legwork, but can allow you to have a little more control in terms of deciding what drinks will be served during festivities. It will also allow you to pick who you spend your time with, alleviating peer pressure that some friends may project, and, if you have been attending meetings and making connections with others who are in recovery, hosting a simple sober get together for the occasion could offer them a welcome respite from alcohol fueled festivities they might find elsewhere.
There are plenty of fun activities you could plan that have nothing to do with drinking and that could help you get into the Halloween spirit. You could arrange a costume contest or competition to see who has the best ghost story, fill out your agenda with a fun game like bobbing for apples, or even host your own séance if you feel up to tangling with the other worldly. Add in some some charming, themed spooky baked goods like chocolate eyeball cookies or a spider web cake and you’ve got the makings of a Halloween party for the ages!
2. Stay In And Have a Movie Marathon
This is a simple, yet effective way to stay sober this Halloween season. Instead of hitting the party scene, you can invite a like-minded friend or two over for a movie marathon, or there’s no shame in spending the night alone if that’s your spooky vibe for this year. Instead of dealing with the stress of the social scene, just chill out, order a pizza, and put on some classic creepy cinema, a spine-tingling horror flick, or a zany Halloween comedy to celebrate the season without putting your recovery at risk.
3. Volunteer Your Time: Help Keep Kids Safe
If you’re trying to stay sober on the 31st, then a great way to spend your time is by volunteering to help kids enjoy a safe holiday.
But what can you do to help little ones out there stay safe while trick-or-treating? A great starting point is understanding what the true dangers of Halloween are.
“Halloween sadism,” or the idea of strangers putting razor blades or other harmful things into candy for trick-or-treaters, is relatively rare. These unfortunate happenings are usually committed by malevolent family members attempting to get insurance money by harming or even killing their own children.
But other Halloween dangers are actually scarily common. Due to the combination of intoxicated drivers and kids wandering carelessly through the streets, pedestrian fatalities spike on Halloween, with around 23% of pedestrian fatalities attributed to drunk drivers.
The fact that children can be hard to see at night can also be a significant factor, so the use of reflective clothing, glow sticks, and flashlights is crucially important. So, perhaps the best way to volunteer your time is to help direct traffic around busy crosswalks and intersections on Halloween night.
Make yourself as visible as possible, and find a way to use a simple stop sign to help keep kids safe. And if you have the means to do so, hand out glow sticks or reflective tape to children wearing dark clothing or costumes. This way, you’ll be keeping yourself occupied and giving back at the same time, which can help you feel better about yourself and your sober holiday.
If you know someone with kids or are a parent yourself, you could also offer to supervise them while they go trick or treating, or even just volunteering to answer the door for any intrepid trick or treaters who come your way will help keep you busy and distract you from any of the alcohol related festivities you may be missing.
4. Be the Designated Driver: Help Keep Your Friends Safe
If you want the social stimulation of the Halloween scene without the intoxication, you can try attending the same parties you usually would, and just avoid drinking. Of course, this may be easier said than done. But there are some preventative measures that can be taken to make this more feasible.
For instance, you can hold yourself accountable by volunteering to be the designated driver for your friends, which will give you a built-in excuse to fend off anyone who asks why you’re not drinking and will reduce the risk that their intoxication will contribute to the awful statistic listed above.
For more help on disclosing your sobriety at social gatherings, you may want to check out this handy guide. But whether you’re in recovery from addiction or not, if you want to avoid drinking this Halloween for any reason, you absolutely should! Don’t let peer pressure make you cave, because you alone are in charge of how you celebrate and know your needs best.
And if you’ve been struggling with your sobriety and feel like a change in scenery might be just what you need to give yourself a kick start, you may want to learn more about the Reco Institute and our sober living options, as well as our associated intensive outpatient treatment program. Don’t hesitate to call us any time at 561-665-5925, or to contact us online anytime here.