A party without alcohol can be just as fun as one with. It just takes a little more planning, but it is doable. To help yourself, try bringing your non-alcoholic drinks to the party. These can be in club soda, juice, or water that can be spruced up to mimic cocktails.
Bring Your Drinks
A party without alcohol can still be fun if you have your beverage. Many people have a hard time believing that you can have fun without booze, so when they see you holding your drink, it makes you feel more confident in your decision to be sober. Soda water, non-alcoholic mocktails, or a good cold-brew coffee are all great options that will give you something to sip and keep your hands busy so the beer bongs and kegs around you don’t tempt you. A pitcher of sangria or some vodka and cranberry juice are just some examples of the drinks that friends can bring. It can help you avoid feeling like the odd man out, especially if the party is in your backyard and people drink out of pitchers or kegs. When people are drinking at parties, they tend to have a lot of interaction with strangers. If you want to prevent unwanted interrogation by alcohol snoops, consider bringing a virgin mojito so you can fly under the radar.
Plan Your Strategy
When you’re in recovery, a party can trigger drinking. However, you can have fun with your friends if you plan. You can ensure your party is alcohol-free by limiting the number of people you invite and serving non-alcoholic drinks. Consider having a different venue. Whether it’s a beach BBQ, a park picnic, or your backyard, the change in scenery can help you keep the focus on food and friendship rather than alcohol and drugs. Many of us use alcohol or drugs as social lubricants at parties, which can be uncomfortable for sober folks. You can provide other activities, such as social lubricants, to encourage people to talk to each other, bond with each other, and forget that they’re at a party without alcohol or drugs. For example, you could have team games, icebreakers, or group activities that get people talking and laughing together. You might even throw in yard games, like horseshoes or flashlight tag. If you have access to a pool, that’s even better!
Don’t Go Alone
One of the biggest problems with drug and alcohol abuse is that it tends to isolate a person. It can feel awkward to be the only sober person at a party, especially if you’ve been used to saying yes to every invitation as long as there’s alcohol present. If you throw a sober party, invite friends who understand your lifestyle. Request that they bring any mocktails and favorite foods you enjoy. If you have access to a backyard, set up yard games and encourage everyone to get involved. If not, a well-planned indoor event can be just as fun. Another great way to be social is by going to a live concert. Whether at a large arena or a smaller venue, music can be a fantastic way to bond with others while avoiding the temptation of drugs and alcohol. Many people find it free to enjoy a night out without the hangovers and blackouts of their past. Taking this freedom on the road to recovery can cement a new, satisfying life of sobriety.
Don’t Give In to Peer Pressure
Peer pressure might encourage you to eat well and exercise, but it can also result in alcohol and drug abuse. It’s important to be firm and say no to people who try to convince you to drink or use drugs at a party. You can tell them you’re consuming for health reasons, doing a challenge, that you’re the designated driver or any other reason you feel comfortable sharing. Being upfront and honest about your decision makes it less likely that they will try to persuade you later. Remember that staying sober is better than dealing with hangovers, blackouts and other negative consequences from drinking or using drugs. And if a party isn’t fun for you without alcohol or drugs, it’s okay to leave early. You can always go to another party or spend time with your friends in a different way. For example, you can take them to a restaurant that doesn’t serve alcohol or participate in a new activity. They may even appreciate your planning something other than hanging out in a bar or club.
Do Something Different
Many people find that things that were fun in the past now seem dull or awkward when sober. However, it is important to remember that this feeling will likely pass and that parties can still be enjoyable. For example, if your friends enjoy drinking games like beer pong, consider switching to a water game with different beverages. It will help your friends feel less self-conscious and encourage them to try new things. Similarly, if your friends are used to drinking shots, consider swapping them for shots of non-alcoholic alcohol. It will make your friends feel just as celebratory, but it will be safer for them in the long run. If you are hosting a party, consider doing something other than drinks to get your friends excited about the event. For instance, you could serve themed food to match the event’s décor or theme. Or you could offer yard games that can be played in groups. These activities will also help your friends engage their brains in a more stimulating way than just sitting around and talking.