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How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Sober

Article guest-contributed courtesy of Sarah Lockwood

We know our Fandomental readers enjoy opportunities to go out and celebrate with friends. However, some holidays may be more challenging for some of us trying to avoid certain pitfalls, and this is especially true when a holiday has a link to alcohol consumption. If you’re in recovery, the thought of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day may cause feelings of anxiety and perhaps a fear of a possible relapse. However, if you treat the day like any other with just a touch of flair, chances are you will find that you can still have a good time. Here’s how to get in the spirit this St. Patrick’s day without focusing on drinking.

Don’t go out alone

If you’re going out at all, you’ll need to pick a reliable and trustworthy buddy to join you. Whether it’s for a parade or party, having someone by your side to support you and help hold you accountable will calm your nerves and instill a sense of confidence. This will need to be someone who also vows not to drink, that way you don’t feel alienated or in the spotlight. Additionally, it’s important to think carefully about where you plan to celebrate and to avoid any places or people that may act as a trigger. Lastly, set yourself up for success by planning ahead and setting an escape plan if a turn of events leads to you feeling uncomfortable.

Throw your own party

Control the atmosphere by hosting a party of your own at home. Cook up some traditional Irish recipes to share with friends and family, like corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, or soda bread. You can decorate with three-leaf clovers and natural greenery, and you can put out holiday-themed cookies for dessert. Make the event complete with a playlist of Irish music, games everyone can play like cornhole, or get everyone together to learn a fast-paced traditional Irish dance. Or all of the above!

Embrace the history

Perhaps the best way to celebrate any holiday is to brush up on its meaning. For example, according to Better Homes and Gardens, wearing green on St. Patrick’s day, “was popularized by Irish immigrants in the United States, who believed that wearing green made them invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see.” Knowing this bit of trivia could make dressing up a bit more fun. Wear a peice of green clothing to work, temporarily dye your hair, or don some Irish jewelry to take part in the tradition. You can even learn about the significance of St. Patrick himself and why we celebrate him today. USA Today explains that “Legend has it that St. Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Christian Holy Trinity.”  Sharing this bit of knowledge with others could lead to a greater appreciation and understanding of Irish culture and have you enjoying the day more than ever before.

Stay in

If you’re feeling particularly anxious, avoid plans to go out and indulge in relaxing activities, and be sure to implement a few of your healthy coping strategies. You can spend the day with your dog by visiting a dog park, or pampering yourself at a spa. Even enjoying your favorite homebound activity and getting some much-needed alone or quiet time could be beneficial to your mental health.

No matter what you choose to do, keep a positive frame of mind. St. Patrick’s Day is a time for luck. So take advantage of that by counting your many blessings and gratitudes. Doing so could change your perspective on life and your recovery.  


Image courtesy of Unsplash

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