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The holiday season can prove to be a challenge for those in recovery. From holiday parties filled with temptations to lack of family or friends to spend time with, many people recovering from substance abuse relapse during these times. Instead of giving into temptations or focusing on hardship, consider these 10 fun free sober activities focused on making someone else’s holiday special.

1.    Donate to Goodwill

Many people are less fortunate and lack the necessities to stay warm in the cold season. Instead of heading to a party, clean out your closet of all the clothes that no longer fit you. By donating them to Goodwill or another charity, you are helping another person. If you don’t have a local charity close by, take the clothes to an area where people in need hang out and distribute them yourself. This act of kindness will warm your heart and theirs.

2.    Start a Hobby to Help Others

By knitting, sewing, or crocheting hats and scarfs for others you will not only fill your time, but help people in need. Invite your friends or peer group to take part and make it a weekly event.

3.    Hold a Movie Night at Local Children’s Home

When you don’t have friends to hang out with during the holidays think of others in the same situation. Organize a movie night at the local children’s home and have each child come dressed as their favorite movie character. Don’t forget your own costume!

4.    Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

When hungry for something to do volunteer at a soup kitchen. Nothing fills the soul like feeding others. Not only do these people need food, they need company. You never know when someone there may also be recovering from substance abuse and need a friend to talk to about the struggle and the joy of sobriety.

5.    Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

Animals give the best comfort when feeling alone and in need of a friend. Many cats and dogs are homeless and need a friend too. Visit your local animal shelter regularly to play with cats and dogs and maybe make some new human friends too.

6.    Organize a Dance or Karaoke Night at Local Senior Citizen’s Home

In the rush of the holiday season, seniors are often forgotten by younger family members. Brighten their day by organizing a dance or karaoke night. They will appreciate the attention and activity. Perhaps you will enjoy it so much it becomes a monthly event!

7.    Hold a Sober Comedy Night

Invite everyone from your peer group to a sober comedy night at your house or a local park. The only thing people should bring is a sense of humor and their favorite treats to share.

8.    Hold a Sober Pot Luck

Many people recovering from substance abuse don’t feel comfortable spending time with family who are actively using or don’t have family to visit. Hold a sober pot luck during the holidays as an alternative gathering. Invite everyone you know and ask that they bring one thing to share, but don’t go out and buy the ingredients! Make something from whatever you have on hand already and see how creative you can get. Tell people to come even if they have nothing to share. This is a time of community and supporting each other in recovery.

9.    Be a Secret Santa

Do something nice for someone in your peer group each day. Make a phone call to thank him or her for sharing in a meeting. Extend a hand or smile to the new person and say welcome to the group. Make a greeting card for the organizers. None of these things cost money, but all of them will make a difference in how another person feels about their contribution to the group.

10.    Document a Day in Photographs

When you are having a rough or dull day, take out your camera or cell phone and capture the surrounding beauty. When you look for the beauty in life, you will find it. Know someone struggling with their outlook on life, spend a day capturing his or her life in photographs. Then share with him or her what you find beautiful about his or her life.

These are Only 10 Fun Free Sober Activities…

These are only 10 fun free sober activities but there are many other things you can do this holiday season. Be creative and encourage other people in your peer group to join you in making others feel special.

If you or someone you know are struggling this holiday season and are afraid of relapse, call Northlake Recovery at (561)-770-6616. We can help you with relapse prevention.

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