The holidays can be a difficult time to stay sober for many reasons, and this year adds extra challenges—but also some new opportunities. Here are some tips to make it through the holidays sober. Remember: meetings are just a click away at all times.

1. Line up your Zoom meetings in advance. Go to eastbayaa.org to check the schedule, and find Fellowships offering marathon meetings under Events. Or google other cities, such as SF, Marin, LA, NY or even other countries—there are meetings happening all over the country and all over the world 24 hours a day. 

2. Get and use phone numbers in advance from meetings you regularly attend – ask via chat or private chat, stay after meetings to grab numbers. Note: The Rockridge Fellowship 9am has a phone list, and many other meetings do as well.

3. Reach out to newcomers. Even if you’re a newcomer, perhaps someone with a few less days than you would benefit from your experience. Our attendance at meetings isn’t only for ourselves, it’s to help others as well.

4. Keep your glass full of a healthy beverage such as sparkling cider or bubbly water (many members recommend against non-alcoholic wine or beer, as they can be reminders of what we can’t have). Even regular water is good to keep us hydrated, energized and healthy.

5. Put your sobriety first and don’t give in to others who may not understand or have your best interests in mind. “No thanks, I am not drinking today,” is a sentence anyone can understand and should be able to respect.

6. If necessary, leave the room or leave the house. Go outside, take a walk, call someone, check in to a meeting. Get support. We don’t do this alone. 

7. Many members find “book-ending” to be helpful. Make a call (or text) before and after an event that might be challenging or stressful.

8. Remember, it’s still a day at a time. Holidays are still just one 24-hour period.