st. patrick's day

How to Stay Sober on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day may be known for its iconic four-leaf clover, parades, shamrock, and Irish beer. However, when we look into its history, it is an event linked to a religious figure. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, which commemorates the death of the said saint. Saint Patrick traveled to Ireland from England (or Scotland, according to some historians); Ireland was a Pagan territory. He was one of the key influencers that brought Christianity to the country, which is why St. Patrick’s Day is considered a religious festival.

People are in a festive mood as they wear shamrock hats, drink Irish beer, and feast with their loved ones. If your family has Irish roots, it can be quite difficult to avoid alcohol consumption during this time of celebration. However, here are some useful tips that can help you steer clear from drinking during this holiday.

Book Non-Drinking Activities in Advance.

One way to avoid the pressure of drinking with family and friends is to book alcohol-free activities in advance. There are apps that can help you find local events that can be family-friendly without the need to consume alcohol. These include watching theater shows or upcoming movies or dining in restaurants with alcohol-free St. Patrick’s Day events.

Booking non-drinking activities a week ahead can help you set your mind during idle moments when you may be invited by friends and family to drink. If you are planning to stay sober, having an anticipatory mindset can help you make better choices.

Include Children with your Activities.

If you have younger kids, it can be helpful to include them when considering what to do in St. Patrick’s Day. This will help you prevent the tendency to focus on adult excursions such as going to bars or drinking with your friends.

Some great activities to do in St. Patrick’s Day can include visiting parks, watching sports events, going to museums or other historical landmarks. It can be a wonderful time to bond with your family while succeeding to remain sober. Alternatively, you can also ask your children what they would like to do. Making them part of the decision process can help them feel excited about spending time with you as a family.

Rehearse Your Lines Well.

Sometimes, hanging out during St. Patrick’s Day means inevitably being with friends and family members who drink. Although it can be tempting to take that small sip during social events, it can be a trigger for a relapse. To avoid this, you have to rehearse your lines well when it comes to refusing a drink.

For example, you can say you’re avoiding drinking because of “health reasons.” You can also mention that you are the designated driver in the group. It is important to keep a mindset that you are not making an excuse but rather a firm decision–which helps you to say “no” consistently and keep your feet grounded.

Stay Indoors.

Who says you have to go outside to have fun on St. Patrick’s Day? Although it is a holiday, you can always choose to be at home for a well-rested stay-cation. Not only will it save you money, but you can also enjoy the quiet company of your loved ones if you have invited them over.

You can choose to cook up a feast, have a simple meal, play board games, watch Netflix, or call for pizza delivery. In fact, staying indoors will lessen the likelihood of you going to the nearest grocery store to buy cans of beer. If you feel like doing the groceries yourself may tempt you to purchase alcohol, you can ask a favor from a family member to do this, or have groceries delivered to you.

Try Alcohol-Free Alternatives.

If you have no choice but to hang out with the company of people who choose to have an alcohol-filled St. Patrick’s Day, you may want to try some fun alcohol-free alternatives. Also called mocktails, drinks without alcohol can be quite tasty and fun to have with snacks. If you plan to visit a bar, make sure to check the menu in advance if they have mocktails available for ordering.

However, if you also choose to stay at home, you can have DIY mocktails which are also good to have if you are hosting a sober St. Patrick’s Day party. Some of the most notable mocktails include:

  • Virgin Mary (the alcohol-free version of Bloody Mary)

  • Nojito (the alcohol-free version of Mojito)

  • Mockmosa (the alcohol-free version of Mimosa)

  • Bellini

  • Virgin sangria

Have the Right Mindset in Place.

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, it is important to have the right mindset to stay sober. People who have drinking tendencies often give in to cravings when they enter a period of their lives with a defeatist attitude. Aside from anticipating the things you may encounter, you have to set your mind that you will succeed no matter what. During the holidays that make you vulnerable, having the right perspective is just as important as implementing boundaries or planning activities.

These tips can not only be used during St. Patrick’s Day, but also during holidays or other events when staying sober may seem more challenging. Setting environmental boundaries, anticipating, and having the right mindset are the keys to success.