If you’re new to recovery, or new to dating in recovery, Valentines Day can get pretty stressful when trying to think of something to do with your significant other without drinking. Or maybe you’re single and want to celebrate yourself as a newly sober person! Either way, there are many things that you can do that don’t involve drinking or using on Valentines Day.
Who doesn’t love to celebrate a holiday with food? Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other, a family member or yourself; going out to eat for a nice dinner is always a good option. If you want to avoid places that serve alcohol, Google some local restaurants that are BYOB or alcohol free so you can avoid the option of ordering from the bar. A lot of people are hesitant about going out to eat by themselves, but I can tell you from experience that it’s one of the most empowering and freeing experiences. If that’s not your thing at all, no problem! Order some take-out to eat in the comfort of your own home. Just a reminder for anyone looking to go out to eat – don’t forget to make your reservations, like today!
Going to the movies is always a good option for a sober activity. I’ll say the same thing I said here that I said about food; take yourself to the movies if you don’t have anyone to go with you! It’s really enjoyable and you don’t have to share your popcorn with anyone (major plus). Unless of course you want to share your popcorn, then bring a significant other, a family member or a friend. Or if you’re on a budget, watch a good movie that you’ve been wanting to see at home and make your own popcorn!
Doing Something Thoughtful
You could do something thoughtful for someone that you care about, like sending them flowers or a box of chocolate covered strawberries. Better yet, you could make your own chocolate covered strawberries at home either by yourself or with someone else. You could also offer to do something for them, like clean their car or help them out in some other way. Acts of gratitude like this go a long way to show your appreciation for someone that’s important to you. If you wanted to splurge a little, you could plan a spa day or a self-care day with a massage, facial, etc.
Cook/Bake At Home
Inviting your loved one over to cook a meal together or bake together is a great bonding experience and a great way to enjoy each others company on Valentines Day. Cooking a meal at home is often cheaper than going out to eat, so if you’re on a budget this may be more doable for you. Find out what they like to eat, go to the grocery store ahead of time to stock up on supplies needed, put a playlist of their favorite music together and have it playing in the background while you cook or bake together.
Many different recovery fellowships will host things like ‘Sober Dances’ or other Valentines Day events for people in recovery. Going to these events not only allows for socialization with people also in recovery, it’s also a great way to make friends and get involved in your local recovery community. Most of the time they’re pretty cheap to attend, or even free, and all you have to do is show up and participate. If you’d like to learn more about events in your area, get to a local recovery meeting and ask around – they will be glad to share the information with you about upcoming events.
Getting together with a group of friends on Valentines Day can be a ton of fun and a total memory-maker. Have some friends that you like to spend time with? Send them a call or text and ask them if they want to do something together. You can use any of the options listed above, or another option depending on everyone’s ideas and interests. You can get/make them Valentines cards or sweets.
This part, to me, is most important. Finding ways to care for yourself is crucial for any human, not just those in recovery, but particularly for those new to recovery as we tend to not be very easy on ourselves after our addiction ends. Ask yourself, what do I like to do? What makes me feel happy or good? What ways do I like to relax? What helps me recharge? Whatever your answers, find ways to participate in at least one of those things for Valentines Day. Set aside some time to celebrate and enjoy yourself, because after all it’s really hard for us to give love to others if we don’t have enough to give ourselves.