The holidays can be a difficult time to stay sober for many reasons, and this year may add extra challenges. 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 meetings in advance. Go to eastbayaa.org to check the schedule, and find fellowships offering marathon meetings under Announcements. Some fellowships offer round the clock in-person meetings; some offer Zoom marathons. There is something for everybody. For added insurance, volunteer to host or secretary a meeting at your fellowship.

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. Even, “I don’t drink” or “I’m sober” are short and to the point. And if asked why not, “I’ve had enough” is one way to answer that question.

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.