Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Luck of the Sober: Celebrating St. Patty's Day

They say everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but not everyone is as lucky as you to be sober!

For many people, St. Paddy’s Day has turned into an excuse to binge drink – and put their health at risk. Binge drinking has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, brain damage, STDs, alcohol poisoning, alcohol use disorder, violence and suicide. St. Patrick’s Day is also among the deadliest times to drive, thanks to all of the people who get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t even about drinking; it was meant to be a religious holiday honoring the patron saint of Ireland who chased the “snakes” (a symbol for paganism) out of Ireland. In fact, Irish pubs traditionally closed and the Irish attended church and celebrated their culture.

Still, we can’t deny that St. Patrick’s Day is a challenging holiday for the 23 million people in recovery. If you're in early recovery, your best bet is likely to avoid celebrations unless they are alcohol-free events. Or, if you have a few years of sobriety under your belt, bring along a trusted friend and have an escape plan if things get too overwhelming.

Celebrate the Sober Way!

Luckily, there are a ton of sober ways to celebrate your heritage this holiday. We’ve put together a few ideas; take a look and come up with your own ways to celebrate the luck of the Irish and the luck of the sober this St. Patty’s Day.
  • Start your day with a guilt-free shamrock shake. A bit of green goodness is a great way to wake up your body for the fun day ahead. Try this healthy spin: Blend banana, kale, vanilla yogurt, low-fat milk, mint leaves and ice – and top with a kiwi (for garnish).
  • Get outside and get active. Jog in a local 5K, organize your own run with a few sober buddies or grab a trusted friend and walk to a local parade. Another great way to burn some calories on St. Patty's Day is to go for a a nature hike – and search for a lucky four-leaf clover along the way! 
  • Host an Irish potluck. Team up with some sober pals and plan a feast of traditional Irish fare – from corned beef and cabbage to soda bread and shepherd’s pie. Not a fan of Irish food? Experiment with some green foods: spiraled zucchini with pesto, risotto with green veggies (asparagus, peas, spinach), crab-stuffed avocado, chicken with salsa verde or green curry, lime jello or chocolate chip mint frozen yogurt. 
  • Savor some downtime. Take the pressure off of yourself and stay home – and remind yourself that it’s okay to stay home. Invite over a trusted friend and cue up an Irish-themed movie like the critically-acclaimed Brooklyn or the campy horror film Leprechaun.
  • Go to a meeting – and dress the part. Put on your favorite green shirt and head to a nearby support group. There’s lots of temptation today – and surrounding yourself with recovery peers will go a long way in making sure this St. Patty’s Day is sober, healthy and enjoyable!

Relapse Prevention at Haus Recovery

Keeping relapse at bay is about cementing new habits and remaining accountable to the recovery support system – and we’re here to help. To learn more about our recovery residences, call today: 888-551-4725.

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