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For some people, the changing of the seasons is an invigorating feeling. The lower temperatures, the shortened days and longer nights, the changing of the leaves, and the crisp smell in the air.

These sensory experiences revive their souls and remind them of one thing: It’s football, basketball and hockey season!

While the sensation associated with this time of year can revitalize the sports enthusiast in all of us, avoiding the temptation to consume alcohol during these events can prove to be a difficult task.

Regardless of the event or whether you attend the game in person or watch from the comfort of your own home, any and all sporting events are constantly bombarded with advertisements encouraging the consumption of alcohol.

This doesn’t even take into account your friends and family who drink during the games and the addictive impulse to imbibe in a celebratory manner, or as a means of easing a tough loss.

However you look at it, the onset of football, basketball and hockey season can bring tremendous excitement and an increased risk of relapse.

How to Avoid Drinking When Watching Sports

Knowing how to reduce and eliminate alcohol consumption during sports events can take a lot of effort, but it is more than possible. Taking the time to prepare yourself for the inherent temptations associated with the sports season can aid in avoiding choices you will inevitably regret.

Here are five tips to enjoy the sports season without alcohol:

1. Dive into Alcohol-Free Drinks

Everyone gets thirsty during the game and having an interesting or whimsical option to turn to when its game time can give you an entirely new perspective on game-day drinks.

Focus on carbonated options (start with soda water) and mix in some fun additions (like fruit juice, lemon wedges and simple syrups).

Having mixed drinks isn’t only for those consuming alcohol. There are a wide variety of non-alcoholic options available to suit all tastes and preferences. Research a few options before the big game to ensure you’ll still have fun, mix it up and avoid feeling left out.

2. Stay Connected with Your Supports

Watching the big game with mutual fans can make the wins more satisfying and the losses a bit more bearable. Making sure to include sober supports ensures that you have the necessary encouragement to avoid addictive impulses and strengthens your overall resolve.

The journey of recovery can be difficult at times, so having positive sober supports to lend a helping hand is a great way to increase your chances of sustained sobriety.

3. Don’t be Afraid to be Assertive

Wondering how to not drink during sports events? It all boils down to being assertive. All the good intentions in the world can’t control the boozy blowhards you may come in contact with at a sporting event.

Preparing to rebuff these types of overly enthusiastic and often-times rude individuals can take proper planning and preparation. Taking the time to rehearse what to say when dealing with persistent people who are trying to offer drinks can be a great method if the real situation occurs.

Trusty stock phrases like, “No thanks, I’m trying to get healthy” or “No thanks, I’m just laying off for a while” can assert your stance of sobriety while effectively ending the conversation. It is always important to remember that, if all else fails, leaving the environment is a viable option.

4. Be Selective on the Events You Attend

Just because you get an invite doesn’t mean you have to attend. If a situation feels wrong, or you know the scenario is going to increase your addictive triggers, have the foresight and confidence to politely decline attendance.

Hurting people’s feelings is inconsequential when the real topic is your overall health and happiness. They will get over their hurt feelings, but you may not get past your relapse.

5. Start Your Own Traditions

Getting together every year to watch the big game is a tradition shared by many. However, with the changes that come along with your continued recovery, it may be time to initiate some new traditions centered around your changing beliefs and sobriety.

This approach enables you to take control of who will be in attendance and eliminate the unhealthy elements associated with alternative social gatherings.

If you decide to tackle this idea, have some fun with it.

  • Challenge your friends to bring creative, non-alcoholic cocktails
  • Encourage them to bring the whole family (including kids) in order to make the environment family-friendly
  • Don’t be afraid to show a little self-deprecation
  • Offer your guests alcohol-free Jell-O shots or virgin Cuba-Libre’s (alcohol-free rum and cokes)

The thing to remember is if you control the setting, you control the outcome – which increases the likelihood that you can have a great time and avoid unnecessary addiction triggers.

Christian-Based Addiction Treatment at Covenant Hills

Alcoholism can be a long, hard road for addicts and recovering addicts. If you or a loved one relapse this sports season – or any season thereafter – quickly getting back on track is crucial.

Much more than traditional addiction rehab, addiction recovery and relapse prevention at Covenant Hills focuses on your whole person – giving your mind, body and spirit the attention and nurturing it deserves to fully heal and be better prepared to evade triggers and prevent a future relapse.

Through our Christian-based, individualized addiction treatment, your psychological, emotional, physical, nutritional, fitness and spiritual needs will be addressed and supported throughout the entire healing process.

Learn more about our Christian-based alcohol addiction treatment program, or contact us for a free and confidential assessment.