When it comes to birthdays, the expectation may be that you need to go out drinking or partying with friends.
Especially if it is your 21st birthday, many people think that the best night is one that you may not remember the next morning. While drinking may seem okay at the time, there is a big difference between expectations versus reality, and there is nothing pleasant about being hungover.
As a Chicago substance abuse center, we know that drinking is not the only option. For those people who are in recovery and sober, it is especially important to avoid getting caught up in the idea of what makes a good birthday and risking your sobriety. Instead, there are plenty of fun ways to celebrate your birthday sober.
Sober Birthday Party Ideas & TipsFor many people, their birthday means throwing a party. Now that you are in recovery, your birthday party may be a bit different than in years past but having a drug and alcohol-free party can still be a lot of fun. At Banyan Chicago, we are sharing a few tips and ideas for a sober birthday that you are sure to still enjoy.
Explore ActivitiesA traditional birthday party may mean food, drinks, music, mingling, and dancing, but this type of birthday party often promotes drinking. Instead, there are plenty of sober birthday party ideas you can try that avoid making drinking a focus. Try activity-based parties like a spa day, a fancy dinner, a board game night, bowling, arts and crafts, or a bonfire. These types of parties keep everyone busy without having to rely on alcohol to break the ice.
Mind the Guest ListEspecially if you recently completed a program at a drug or alcohol treatment center, you want to be careful who you invite. Not only may some people not be respectful of your wishes for an alcohol-free party but the people who you used to drink with may trigger an addiction craving. Instead, it is better to only invite people you trust and who support your sobriety journey.
Make Mocktails & CookTake the focus off of the missing alcohol with fancy and elaborate mocktails or food options. People will be so impressed by the great display of food and drinks that no one will miss the alcohol.
Skip the PartyCelebrating your birthday in recovery doesn’t mean you need to throw a party. This is your birthday, so it is important to do something that you enjoy. If a sober birthday party fills you with anxiety or causes you to stress about relapsing, then do not do it. Instead, treat yourself to something else like tickets to an event or a theme park, make time for an activity you enjoy, or even plan a little getaway. Get creative and make sure to make your sober birthday celebration enjoyable.
Take a Moment to ReflectWhile you should go out of your way to celebrate your sobriety birthday, celebrating your regular birthday may mean taking the time to also reflect on your progress. Addiction is a terrible disease that can unfortunately lead to overdose. Thankfully, you were able to overcome it and you are another year older because of it. By taking a moment to recognize how far you have come, you will also be able to solidify your sobriety in case the temptation arises.
Celebrating your birthday sober isn’t just about having fun, it is an important part of the recovery process. When you were drinking or doing drugs you may have come to rely on these substances to have fun. In recovery, you need to relearn how to have fun without them. This change in mindset can help set you up for long-term sobriety.
Our PHP in Naperville can help patients build a solid foundation for success in recovery. If you or someone you care about is battling a substance abuse problem on their own, it is time to reach out for help.