Your Guide to Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Sober

Your Guide To Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Sober

Table of Contents

Whether you are celebrating your Irish heritage or having a good time with your friends, the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is known for its access to excessive drinking. If you are sober, this time of year can feel stressful and dangerous. You might feel tempted to go to a bar with friends, or you might feel uncomfortable around so many intoxicated people. However, it is still possible to celebrate this holiday without going to the bar. Here are some tips to allow you to enjoy the holiday while still honoring your sobriety.

Have a Traditional Irish Dinner Party

You do not need to go to a bar to have corned beef and hash. Instead, host a dinner party with your sober friends. There are plenty of traditional Irish recipes that are fun to cook and fantastic to eat. Try baking soda bread, or cook a steaming pot of Irish stew. You can listen to Irish music and dance with your friends after your feast.

Learn How to Irish Step Dance

Step dancing can be fun for all ages and could be an excellent addition to your dinner party. To learn, find a video tutorial online, or attend a class. This high-energy dance can be a lot of fun, even without drinking alcohol. If you are not interested in learning how to dance, there are still plenty of Irish step dance recitals you can attend during this time. There are plenty of live performances that you can stream if there is not a recital in your area.

Attend a St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick’s Day parades happen all over the country. Most venues do not allow alcoholic beverages at the parade, as they are trying to be more family-oriented. Watch the green and gold floats roll by and listen to marching bands play traditional Irish music. There is a chance that parades in your area might be canceled due to Covid-19. Check in with your local area to see if the event is going as scheduled.

Wear That Emerald Green

Typically, fashion experts suggest mixing and matching colors, but you can get away with a completely green outfit on this particular day. The usual tradition is to pinch someone who is not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, but this is not a good idea without consent. You can dress as silly as you want to or keep it simple. Wearing green is an easy way to be part of the fun.

Participate in a Race

This time of year, many charities and organizations host races to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. If you like to run and love a good cause, tie up those sneakers and enter your local 10k. Some events might be canceled or altered due to covid restrictions. If your local race is canceled, there are still ways to participate, including virtual runs. If you want to run solo, you can start a fundraiser on social media, donating a certain amount per mile that you complete.

Host a Craft Day With the Kids

Spending time with children is a great way to stay sober. Get out the crafting supplies and make something St. Patrick’s Day themed. There are plenty of fun activities that you can try. Do not shy away from being a part of the fun. After all, arts and crafts are not just for kids.

Celebrate Everything That Is Green

The fact that St. Patrick’s Day is so close to spring is not a coincidence. The green from St. Patrick’s Day symbolizes the color of the landscape covering Ireland, but it is also a time when you can celebrate all of the nature around you. March 17th is close to the first day of spring. This holiday can allow you to get excited about the green that is yet to come.

Go on a nature walk if weather permits and notice the beautiful changes of the season. Do you see that the birds have come back? Are the trees starting to bud? Is the grass greener? Being aware of the life coming back can leave you feeling refreshed.

Reflect on How Lucky You Are

You have probably heard the phrase, “the luck of the Irish.” Even if you are not Irish, you can still embrace the parts of your life that qualify you as lucky. This exercise is similar to writing a gratitude list but focuses less on being grateful and more on how lucky you are to have the things you have. If you are newly sober, reflect on how lucky you are to have been able to get help. Thinking about these things can help make sure that you never take the things that are in your life for granted.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations can be notorious for promoting excessive drinking, which can be harmful to someone practicing a sober lifestyle. Many who see their friends partake in the festivities experience “a fear of missing out.” They might be tempted to take part in the celebrations, too, and risk jeopardizing their sobriety. While it might be tempting to go to a bar with friends during this Irish-themed holiday, there are plenty of safer alternatives that still honor your goals to remain substance-free. Drinking during St. Patrick’s day can also contribute to negative stereotypes about Irish people, so not partaking at all can be a way to honor your heritage.

Remember that partaking in this holiday is optional–March 17th can be like any other ordinary day. If you want to celebrate your Irish heritage or someone else’s, there are plenty of ways to do it without taking a drink. To learn more, call (855) 529-9255

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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