How to Celebrate New Year’s Without Drinking

Increased amounts of alcohol are consumed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. People around the world raise their glasses to a fresh start and the close of the previous year. But the holiday is about new beginnings, not drinking, so it’s important to know you don’t have to have alcohol to enjoy this exciting time. Here, we’ll explore how to celebrate New Year’s without drinking to help you maintain your sobriety.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Drive to the Event Separately

It’s always a smart idea to drive to the New Year’s event separately. This way, if you begin to get overwhelmed and need to leave, you know you have transportation readily available.

Learn to Say “No”

Learning to say “no” during a New Year’s celebration is crucial. You need to be able to turn down any drinks that are offered to you. You also must be prepared when people ask why you’re not drinking. You don’t owe anyone an explanation about your sobriety whatsoever, but you might feel more comfortable having a response ready. Consider the following:

  • Say you’re a designated driver
  • Keep a non-alcoholic drink in your hand, and say you already have a beverage
  • Say you’re not in the mood to drink
  • Say you’re pursuing your sobriety (only do this if you’re comfortable disclosing this fact)

Understand Your Triggers

Next, it’s important that you have a solid grasp on your triggers and can identify them throughout the celebration. This way, you can better avoid them, keep your stress levels down, and stay away from temptation.

Prepare Coping Techniques

Encountering one of your triggers may be inevitable at an event where alcohol is being served. That’s why you need to create a plan to cope so you can continue to enjoy the event. We suggest letting a friend or family member at the event know that you’re pursuing your sobriety and seeking them out when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Having someone on your side can help to calm you down and accompany you throughout the event.

Know Your Limit

If you do feel like you are becoming more and more overwhelmed, know that it’s completely ok to leave the event. Knowing your limits and what you can handle is crucial when pursuing your sobriety. Staying sober and maintaining your health should always be the first priority, and if saving that means removing yourself from the situation, there is no shame in doing so. If anything, you should enter the New Year proud that you’re learning to respect your personal boundaries.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We hope this guide on how to celebrate New Year’s without drinking helps you during this exciting holiday. If you feel that you need assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

What Does Alcohol Do To Your Body?

Alcohol has both short- and long-term effects on the body. In fact, changes begin to occur the moment you take your first sip. And, if you drink regularly and heavily, you may be putting your overall health at risk. Here, we’ll explore exactly what alcohol does to your body.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

What’s Happening When You Drink Alcohol

When you consume alcohol, your body begins absorbing and transporting it throughout your bloodstream, which sets off a variety of other changes:

  • The flow of gastric acid in your stomach increases, which makes you feel hungry.
  • Your blood vessels expand, which lowers your blood pressure, creates a feeling of warmth, and causes your skin to flush.
  • Areas of the brain that control coordination, memory, speech, and more become dulled.
  • Urine production is increased, causing you to urinate more frequently.
  • Your liver begins to oxidize the alcohol so it can be removed from the body. Also, every time you drink, it causes cells from your liver to die.
  • Dopamine and serotonin are released in the brain

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Long-term use of alcohol can result in some serious effects on the body— especially if you drink regularly and heavily. Some of these effects include:

  • Chronic liver damage, inflammation, and/or disease
  • Increased risk for developing heart disease
  • Increased risk for developing cancer
  • Increased risk for developing chronic pancreatitis
  • Increased risk for developing osteoporosis (thinning bones)
  • Shrinking of the frontal lobe
  • Intestinal damage that leads to frequent diarrhea and stomach pain
  • Alcohol prevents your body from absorbing essential nutrients and vitamins, which can lead to malnutrition
  • Weakened immune system

These are some of the main side effects of long-term alcohol use, but there are many more that also negatively impact the body.

What Happens to the Body When You’re Addicted to Alcohol

Alcoholism causes serious physical and chemical changes to the brain. When you drink alcohol, dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters are released, causing feelings of pleasure. However, when you drink regularly and heavily, your brain requires more and more alcohol to obtain the pleasurable feeling from the dopamine and serotonin.

Eventually, the brain will become dependent on alcohol to obtain dopamine and serotonin releases at all, even when you’re not drinking, making you feel low and distraught. This dependence is also what causes cravings and withdrawal when you haven’t had a drink for a substantial period of time. At this level of addiction, it makes it very difficult to control your drinking habits whatsoever.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We hope you better understand what alcohol does to your body. If you feel that you need assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

How to Rebuild Trust With Loved Ones Following Recovery

Choosing to pursue your sobriety is a huge step, although the process isn’t always easy. Since beginning your road to recovery, you may have found that some friends and family members are hesitant to let you back into their lives. Here, we’ll discuss how to rebuild trust with loved ones following recovery. With plenty of patience, understanding, and communication, you can begin to feel secure in your relationships once again.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Stick With Your Recovery Plan

Above all else, it’s imperative that you stick with your recovery plan. You need to show your loved ones that you are serious about and putting the work towards maintaining your sobriety. Seeking recovery signals that you are aware that you had a problem and are ready and willing to fix it.

Form a Routine of Healthy Habits

Keeping a strict routine is a key part of working towards your sobriety. A routine will provide you with stability and help you focus on staying on track. In addition to completing your daily responsibilities, also fill your time with healthy activities, such as recovery meetings and exercise. This will further show your loved ones your commitment to your sobriety and total lifestyle change.

Make Yourself Accessible

With a steady routine in place, loved ones can more easily keep up with your schedule, lessening the worry as to where you are and what you’re doing. You should make your loved ones know that you are accessible to them and that they can reach out at any time. You should also connect with your loved ones consistently and make yourself available when they want to talk. Communicating openly and often is extremely necessary for rebuilding trust.

Understand How to Communicate

In addition to communicating frequently, it’s important to know how to communicate with your loved ones to gain back their trust. Consider the following communication tips:

  • Be transparent. Always be upfront and honest with your loved ones. Keeping secrets and lying will only come back to haunt you, and it will remind family and friends of your former bad habits.
  • Don’t make promises you cannot keep. When you don’t fulfill your promises, it makes you appear unreliable. Set boundaries and know what you can do for others and yourself while you’re recovering.
  • Don’t get defensive. When discussing your situation, it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your loved ones rather than getting defensive with them. Try to understand where they’re coming from and be sensitive to what they’re feeling.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We hope you better understand how to rebuild trust with loved ones following recovery. Remember that building trust takes time—it doesn’t happen overnight. But, if you put in the work, you’ll find yourself reconnecting with your loved ones once again.

If at any point you feel that you need assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

Binge Drinking vs Alcoholism: What’s the Difference?

Although alcohol is socially accepted, it is still a drug that, when used irresponsibly, can severely impact your health and well-being. Some of the most common outcomes of alcohol abuse include binge drinking and alcoholism. But what’s the difference between the two? These are very distinct terms that encompass their own set of behaviors.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help. 

What is Binge Drinking?

As defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is, “a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent—or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter—or higher.”

In plain terms, it is essentially drinking alcohol with the intention of getting drunk. Those who binge drink may only consume alcohol a few times a week, but when they do, they drink significantly more than recommended. Even doing so once is still considered a “binge.”

As a general rule, females should consume only one standard drink per hour, while men should consume only two standard drinks per hour. A standard drink is defined as a drink that contains approximately 14 grams of alcohol. Abiding by these recommendations is intended to keep your BAC levels below 0.05%.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a disease, as stated by the American Medical Association. When you are addicted to alcohol, dramatic physical and chemical changes are made to your brain which prohibit you from controlling your drinking habits. The brain requires more and more of the substance to experience its effects, so the addicted continues to increase their intake to dangerous levels. Although the alcoholic may get into trouble legally, financially, or at work due to their intoxication, they likely find they are still unable to control their habits.

Because the brain is severely changed, when the addicted is not drinking, the brain craves and requires the drug in order to reach what it now considers a “normal” state. In addition, alcoholics will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when they have not had a drink for a substantial period of time.

The Primary Difference

The primary difference between binge drinking and alcoholism is that one is a chosen behavior, while the other is a medical disease in which one cannot help. However, it is possible that binge drinking, when done consistently over a period of time, can develop into alcoholism. But, it is not considered an addiction until it becomes a behavior in which the user has no control over due to chemical brain changes.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We hope you better understand the difference between binge drinking and alcoholism. If you feel that you need assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

The Benefits of Meditation for Addiction Recovery

Choosing to pursue your sobriety requires a complete lifestyle change. You’ll need to create a solid routine that’s filled with enriching activities, new responsibilities, and supportive individuals. If you’re looking for a place to start, explore the benefits of meditation for addiction recovery. This is a great practice to incorporate into your daily life.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help. 

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the practice of clearing the mind. It connects the mind and body through a focused breathing pattern in order to rid you of your thoughts. When practiced continually, some are able to reach a state of inner peace. Meditation is something that must be done on a consistent basis to experience the wonderful benefits it has to offer.

How to Meditate

There are a few different ways that you can practice meditation. However, to get you started, take the following steps:

  • Find a quiet location free of interruptions.
  • Sit or lay down with your eyes closed.
  • Take deep inhales and exhales. With every exhale, consciously relax your muscles.
  • Focus solely on your breath, making sure it is consistent and at a steady pace.
  • If thoughts arise, acknowledge them, and allow them to drift away. If you’d like, you can use imagery to rid yourself of your thoughts—imagine them as leaves floating away down a tranquil stream.
  • Do this for 10 to 15 minutes per day.

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is a very useful tool for those who are pursuing their sobriety. Explore the top benefits of engaging in meditation for addiction recovery:

  • Helps regulate emotions. Feelings of anger, depression, stress, and anxiety all put you at risk for relapse. If you don’t have a method for controlling your emotions, meditation is a great way to calm down and reset. Afterward, you can better assess and regulate your emotions with a clear head.
  • Can serve as a coping technique. If you begin to experience cravings, meditation can serve as a healthy distraction from temptation. It can also provide the clarity you need to reason through why you should not give in to your cravings.
  • Promotes better sleep. Getting proper sleep is an essential part of recovery. Meditation relaxes both the mind and body, helping you to get a better night’s rest.
  • Improves mental strength. Not only can meditation improve your concentration, but over time, it can develop your mind to be better equipped to handle negative thoughts and emotions even when you are not practicing.
  • Increases self-awareness. Meditation helps instill a better sense of self, which could help you become more at peace and comfortable with your new identity as a sober individual. It can also help show you what you prioritize and truly care about, which can also be used as an incentive to continue on your path to sobriety.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

While meditation is a very helpful technique, if you feel that you need further assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

How to Relax Without Alcohol

Before you decided to become sober, you may have turned to a glass of wine or a few beers as a means to de-stress. Now that alcohol is no longer a part of your lifestyle, you need to be able to cope with your emotions in other ways. That’s why we’re here to offer you some ideas on how to relax without alcohol.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help. 

Enjoy a Green Tea

Green tea, in particular, is known to have active ingredients that regulate mood and help relieve stress. Plus, the ritual of making the tea, setting up a comfortable seating area, and simply enjoying the first few warm sips as the tea takes effect can also be quite a soothing process.

Engage in Physical Activity

Physical activity works wonders in terms of regulating mood, since it releases endorphins that promote feelings of wellness. You can keep your activity as light or vigorous as you’d like, from enjoying a walk and stretching to lifting weights and cycling. In addition, yoga specifically is praised for its ability to assist in clearing the mind. Once you find the exercise that works for you, engage in it whenever you need to release your pent-up energy and feelings.

Practice Meditation

A great method to clear your head is meditation. Meditation is a practice that takes some time to master—it asks you to empty your mind of all thoughts until inner peace is achieved. You can try this technique by finding a quiet place to sit, closing your eyes, and taking deep breaths. Acknowledge your thoughts as they arise, and then let them go until your mind is blank, blocking out any external disturbances.

Find a Creative Outlet

Some people find that having a creative outlet or hobby helps them most when trying to relax. Consider picking up a book, working on a painting, dancing to some music, writing in a journal, or any other activity that allows you to express yourself. Not only can these activities be a lot of fun, but in their own way, they also help you to empty your mind and release stress.

Take a Soothing Bath

A classic self-care activity, drawing a bath can be a very relaxing experience. Treat yourself to a bath bomb, light a few candles, and simply enjoy doing absolutely nothing but soaking in the warm water.

Tidy Up

Some people can’t relax knowing that there are chores left to do, while others actually clean their home as a way to clear their head. Whatever the case, tidying up the house can help a lot in reducing your stress levels. You’ll be able to enjoy your time much more knowing that everything is in order, plus, you may discover that the ritual of cleaning really helps you feel more relaxed and accomplished.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We hope these ideas help you relax without alcohol. However, if you feel that you need assistance pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here for you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

How to Make Friends Without Drinking

Pursuing your sobriety can be challenging when many of the activities you loved—and the friends you enjoyed these activities with—revolved around alcohol. But don’t feel discouraged. There are many ways to meet people in an environment that doesn’t require the consumption of alcohol. Below, you’ll discover how to make friends without drinking.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help. 

Try a Group Exercise

Trying out a class at a local gym is a fantastic way to meet new people. Some great group exercises include spin, yoga, and Pilates classes. You may also enjoy community weight lifting classes, HIIT exercises, and even running. No matter what you prefer, signing up for these kinds of activities provides a great opportunity to meet people with shared interests. Plus, staying active and healthy also plays a large part in helping you maintain your sobriety.

Connect with Colleagues

You spend a lot of time with your colleagues—why not try to get to know them? This is one of the easiest ways to meet new people since you already see them most every day. At work, making a new friend can be as simple as asking a coworker to join you on your lunch break or to go out for a coffee.

Join a Club

If you have a hobby or activity that you love, search to see if there is a local club for it. Or, consider getting into something new such as reading, painting, cooking, or gardening. Not only will this give you the resources to do what you enjoy and provide you with a new experience, but it’s also another opportunity to meet people with shared interests. Bonding with people with similar passions is an easy way to form instant friendships.

Reconnect with Old Friends

It’s pretty common to lose touch with people, no matter the circumstances. But just because you lose touch, it doesn’t mean that you can’t reach out to former friends once again. It can be thrilling to catch up and reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in a while. You may even find that you simply pick up the friendship right where it left off.

Volunteer

There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in your community. Whether you enjoy working with children or assisting those in need, there are plenty of ways to help out. Plus, once again, not only will you be providing a great service to the community, but you’ll be doing so alongside likeminded individuals.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

We hope you have a better idea of how to make friends without drinking. However, if you feel that you need help pursuing your sobriety, The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation is here to assist you. A sober living environment will allow you to recover in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, contact us to discover how we can provide the help you need.

Contact us

Am I an Alcoholic if I Drink Every Day?

It’s a common ritual among adults to indulge in an alcoholic beverage after a long day. For many, this may even be a daily occurrence. If you fall into the latter category and are wondering if having a drink every day makes you an alcoholic, we’re here to help clarify when this habit has gone too far.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.  

Drinking in Moderation

Generally, having one or two evening beverages on a daily basis does not indicate alcohol abuse—that is, if you’re pouring your drinks correctly. Many people tend to over pour. For instance, if your usual nightly cocktail contains three or more shots, this would not be considered a single drink, and might be indicative of increased tolerance to alcohol. It is recommended that women should have no more than three drinks in a day, while men should have no more than four drinks per day.

You may be wondering why having a tolerance to alcohol is so bad. After all, you don’t feel intoxicated, so why does it matter?

The fact is, you’re still consuming the same amount of alcohol as another person who feels the effects after a few beverages. Even though you don’t experience a buzz, you’re still exceeding the recommended number of drinks you should have in a day, which may put you at risk.

Levels of Alcohol Abuse

There are three levels of alcohol abuse: mild, moderate, and severe. The number of alcohol abuse symptoms you are experiencing is what defines what category you fall into:

  • Mild alcohol abuse is present when you experience two to three symptoms
  • Moderate alcohol abuse is present when you experience four to five symptoms
  • Severe alcohol abuse is present when you experience six or more symptoms

Some symptoms of alcohol abuse are as follows:

  • When your alcohol consumption interferes with your work, schooling, family, and other responsibilities
  • Continuing to drink despite being aware of its negative effects on your career, relationships, and responsibilities
  • Engaging in risky behaviors while under the influence, such as driving, having unprotected sex, committing crimes, or fighting
  • Requiring more and more alcohol to feel the same level of intoxication
  • Trying to quit drinking multiple times, but being unable to stop
  • Drinking more and longer than you’d planned
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when you stop drinking

If you fall into any of the above alcohol abuse categories, it’s likely time for you to quit drinking.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

If done in moderation, you are not necessarily an alcoholic if you drink every day. However, if you fall into any of the above alcohol abuse categories, you should consider seeking professional assistance, especially in severe cases. A sober living environment will allow you to get the help you need in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, reach out to The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation to discover how we can help.

Contact us

How to Know When it’s Time to Quit Drinking

Many people enjoy an alcoholic beverage to relax and unwind. It may even become part of one’s ritual to have an evening drink after a long day. However, when a couple of alcoholic beverages turn into multiple drinks on a daily basis, it may be time to reassess your habits. Learn how to know when it’s time to quit drinking.

If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.

When You’re Drinking Regularly & Excessively

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that the average woman should have no more than seven drinks per week, while the average man should have no more than fourteen drinks per week. If you notice that your tolerance is increasing due to the regularity of your drinking, it may be time to stop. You may also consider taking a break from alcohol for the week to see if you are able to resist. If you notice your tolerance increasing and/or you are unable to resist drinking for the week, this may be a sign that you are developing an addiction.

When You Hide Your Drinking Habits

Drinking in secret or by yourself is a telltale sign of addiction. When you feel that you need to hide your drinking habits from friends and family, you likely know that you’re drinking in excess. You may even feel guilty or worried that your loved ones will try to make you stop. If this is the case, you should consider getting sober.

When Your Relationships Are Affected

You know your drinking habits are out of control when your relationships are affected. Lying to family and friends about how much you drink may already be placing a strain on the relationship. If you are also continually showing up to gatherings while buzzed or completely intoxicated, it may cause your loved ones to have feelings of worry or anger. Before your drinking causes your relationships to get to this point, it is imperative to seek help and make a change.

When You Engage in Dangerous Behaviors

You are more likely to engage in risky behaviors while intoxicated, such as drinking and driving or having unsafe sex. It is also common for people to become more aggressive when having too much to drink, or even blackout. Each of these scenarios have serious, potentially life-threatening consequences. Continuing to put yourself in these situations is a giant red flag that you need to quit drinking immediately.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

Learning how to know when to stop drinking can help you fix your drinking habits before they begin to affect your relationships and overall health. If you notice any of the above behaviors in yourself, it may be time to seek sobriety. While this may feel like a difficult task, a sober living environment will allow you to get the treatment you need in a supportive, understanding community. To learn more, reach out to The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation to discover how we can help.

Contact us

How to Help an Alcoholic Son

No one wants to accept the fact that a beloved family member—especially a son—has an alcohol use disorder. But avoiding denial, offering support, and refusing to enable can be the actions your son desperately needs to turn his life around and break free of addiction. If you’re wondering how to help an alcoholic son, read on for more concrete actions you can take to support your child and help him gain access to the support he needs.

If your son needs a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for him. Contact us and learn how we can help.

Don’t Blame Yourself

First, you must realize that you shouldn’t blame yourself if you think your son has become an alcoholic. This is very common, but completely unproductive. Shame and guilt are commonly experienced by parents, and this is totally human. But the truth is, there comes a point when you aren’t responsible for your child’s decisions. You can, however, be a gentle intervention that could positively change your son’s life for the better.

Is Your Son an Alcoholic?

The most important question to consider is, is your son an alcoholic? There are certain tell-tale signs can help you determine this. For example, consider the following:

  • Does your son drink every day?
  • Does he binge drink (does he drink 5 or more alcoholic beverages in 2 hours or less)?
  • Has he created social issues for himself as a result of alcohol, such as lost friendships or fights?
  • Does he experience mood swings when he doesn’t have alcohol?
  • Has he brought legal or financial troubles upon himself because of his alcohol use?

Considering these questions can help you determine if your son is abusing alcohol. If you’re still unsure, consult with a medical professional about your concerns. They can provide you with resources to help you and your son.

Don’t Enable Him

As a parent of an alcoholic, it’s important that you don’t enable your child. This means that you should avoid, at all costs, making it easy for him to continue abusing alcohol. Don’t make excuses for him in any context to help him cover up bad behavior or mishaps that result from his alcohol abuse. If he finds himself in legal or professional trouble, don’t bail him out or help with legal fees. He must feel the consequences of his drinking in order for him to realize he has a problem that needs to be addressed.

Avoid Denial

It’s also important for you, as a parent, to avoid being in denial, as this will not help your son. Alcohol use disorders are serious health issues, not phases that will be grown out of or an issue that will just go away on its own. Address the situation head-on and as soon as possible for your son’s sake and for the sake of those around him.

Ask For Help

Realize that there is no shame in asking for help, for yourself or your child! Rather, it’s a sign of strength. A medical professional or counselor will be able to provide resources like residential our outpatient treatment programs and sober living homes, as well as individual and group counseling/support groups.

Consider The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation

Now that you know how to help an alcoholic son, it’s time to take action. The best thing you can do as a parent is to be a supportive, listening ear that encourages healthy recovery. You can help him access the treatment he needs, rather than enabling or ignoring the problem altogether. Reach out to our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation for assistance.