When the leaves change color and the weather starts to cool, this signifies just one thing — football season is back. For many, drinking beer is synonymous with football. Whether they’re watching a game or tailgating, brews are a common part of the football tradition. If you’re in recovery, you may find it difficult to give up beer during the football season. However, recovery doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy America’s most popular sport with your fellow sports fans.
Here are a few ideas for staying sober this football season. With these suggestions in your back pocket, you can still enjoy watching the game, going to viewing parties or taking part in football events.
1. Come up With a Game Day Strategy
Like any good sports fan, you know that strategy is key to winning. This is true for football, and it’s also true for your sobriety. If you’re planning on going to a tailgating party or another game day event, developing a plan ahead of time can help you avoid potential triggers.
Think through some possible situations that could arise and decide how to handle them. This could include someone offering you a drink or being surrounded by drunk people. As part of your strategy, you may want to have an escape plan in place in case you feel uncomfortable or at risk of relapse.
2. Draft Your Support System
Whether it’s attending a recovery meeting beforehand, having your sponsor on speed-dial or bringing a sober friend along for the fun, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your support system is made up of the people who have made your recovery possible, and they’ll be there to help if you are tempted to drink.
3. Bring Along Non-Alcoholic Beer and Beverages
When attending a game day event, make sure your hand is never empty. The best way to do that is to bring along your own beverages, such as non-alcoholic beer. With a drink in hand, others will be less likely to offer you alcohol. It will also help stave off any cravings that may arise.
4. Host Sober Tailgate Parties
If you’re worried about attending a party where alcohol is present, then why not host your own game day event? When you plan the tailgate party, you can keep your mind off substance abuse and focus it on having a great time with your football-loving friends.
A few key ingredients will ensure your sober tailgate party is a smashing success:
- Provide plenty of delicious food. Make sure there’s tons of meat, like burgers, steaks and hot dogs. You can ask your guests to bring along their favorite game-day snacks.
- Have an assortment of non-alcoholic beverages. If it’s a chilly day, have a pot of hot coffee or cocoa to keep your guests warm. On hot days, fruit punch or non-alcoholic mojitos are nice.
- Plan some pre-game entertainment. Options might include corn hole or a ping-pong match. If you have some serious gamers on your hands, they might enjoy some Madden NFL so they can really get themselves in the action.
You Can Enjoy Football While Staying Sober
Football season is bound to have some temptations that may be tough to overcome — but keep in mind how far you’ve come and the progress you’ve made on your recovery journey. The obstacles you encounter will strengthen your ability to resist triggers that once fueled your addiction. After all your hard work, you deserve to celebrate, and having fun with friends and family is what game day is all about. So, game on.
If you or someone you know needs help taking the first step toward recovery from addiction, we invite you to contact Beacon House. Our private treatment facility located on the lovely Monterey Peninsula offers holistic addiction treatment so you can find renewed hope and healing.