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Ten Ways To Celebrate That Don’t Involve Drinking

Champagne, a bottle of wine, a round of shots–alcohol is often synonymous with celebration for many citizens of the modern world. Celebrating is an important part of recovery as well. No matter how much work you have to do on yourself, you’ll always have victories to share. All you have to do is explore some alternative methods of celebrating success, good news, or happy fortune without compromising your sobriety. Here are ten ways to get thinking about how you’ll mark your next achievement:

1. Give Yourself a Break 

Between your recovery, career, personal relationships, future aspirations, and navigating the constant tumult of the modern world, life can seem simply relentless. When you’re ready to pat yourself on the back, do it where it counts. Take a day. Sleep in. Order pizza. Watch your favorite movie. Play some World of Warcraft. Simple though it may sound, letting yourself just relax can be the greatest gift of all.

2. Do Something Completely Out of Character

Mark a celebratory occasion by engaging in a completely new activity. Of course, we don’t mean that you should do something reckless or out of line with your values–just try something different. If you aren’t much of a nature person, try camping with a friend. If you’re not big on writing, try creating a short story about your growth, or about something totally abstract. This is your life and you get to decide what you’re going to be good at.

3. Share Your News

The people in your support network–friends, family, and sponsors–aren’t just there to hold you accountable; they’re also there to share in your achievements. Reach out to the people who care about you to celebrate your victories and bask in the glow of their encouragement. Whether you tell people over the phone or are able to get together to enjoy one another in-person, let the people in your life be there for you when things go well, too.

4. Look Back on Your Progress

When you reach a personal goal, take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come in the past month, year, two years, five years, ten years, or more. Think about how the past version of you would react to seeing where you are now. Let yourself be proud of your progress and keep your eyes set on the equally positive (if not better) future that’s waiting for you.

5. Keep a Joy Tracker

Every time you pass a milestone, achieve a positive goal, or even just have a particularly enjoyable day, write down what happened on a small piece of paper, including the date, fold it up, and add it to a large jar of joys. When you want to celebrate a special moment, or even if you’re simply having a hard day and need some encouragement, you can empty the jar and read through all the joys you’ve gathered and all the successes you’ve seen to remind you that more bright times are just around the corner.

6. Treat Yourself

Whether it’s a new coat, a meal from your favorite restaurant, or an upgraded set of tools, you can always use a recent victory as a reason to treat yourself. There’s also always the option to get a gift for someone else. You know what they say: to give is to receive.

7. Take a Trip

Even if it means simply taking a long drive to a spot you’ve never visited a couple of hours away, a change of scenery can act as a wonderful wake-up for the parts of your brain that get bogged down by routine. Walk on a beach, birdwatch in a new park, or just drive through a town you’ve never seen to liven up a day of your life and explore a different avenue of joy.

8. Mark the Occasion with Creation

Since the dawn of time, humans have turned to the arts to express celebration. No matter your skill level, you’re a hero in your own story and you deserve to be accoladed as one. Write a song, compose an epic poem, perform an interpretive dance, or create a snow-version of yourself in shining armor. Let yourself have fun with it!

9. Build Your Environment

A tactile, enjoyable way to mark your successes is to enrich your environment. Get a plant (cacti are wonderfully low-maintenance), furnish your place with a fresh rug, or even make a project of it and paint the walls a more stimulating color. In addition to sprucing up your home, you’ll also be reminded of your accomplishments each time you look at your new surroundings.

10. Look Ahead to the Future

As you celebrate your achievements, look ahead to the values you’ve established during this chapter of your life and think about what your next goals might be. You can make anything happen for yourself. Use this chance to inspire yourself even further and make yourself proud.

Although it can be easy to get caught up by the amount of progress you have yet to make, don’t forget to appreciate how far you’ve already come. Whether you’re just beginning your journey of recovery or are ready to take the next step forward, you’ll always have reasons to celebrate your growth. If you’re struggling to adjust to life in sobriety, there’s professional help available to you. Cornerstone Healing Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, provides individualized support at every step of the way. From personal guidance to encouragement and accountability, we work with you to meet your needs for a recovery that is successful on all levels. We use evidence-based treatment modalities in a beautiful, relaxing environment to help you become the version of yourself you want to be. Don’t go it alone. Reach out to us to learn new ways to celebrate your progression through the process of self-improvement. Call (800) 643-2108 to learn more.

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