Halloween in Recovery

5 Halloween Things to Do in Recovery

Halloween is on the horizon and you’re wanting to celebrate, but some of the old haunts might not be a good idea when you’re in recovery.

Fortunately, there are ways to have fun that don’t involve falling off the wagon. Planning ahead can help. You’re less likely to be caught off guard by surprises, and if you rehearse your responses to potential tempting scenarios, you’ll be better prepared to greet November 1 without any regrets.

Here are five things you can do that won’t set your recovery off course.

Find Sober Events

Groups like Meetup.com have sober activities groups for all kinds of people. Site visitors can search far and wide, by area, age groups, gender, sexual orientation, hobbies, professions, specific recovery groups, and much more, to find something festive that checks temptation at the door. 

Make It a Sober Celebration

Invite your pals who are also sober or the ones who won’t push shots your way, and get festive with them. Whether you’re the host of the party or you’re traveling as a group to some kind of celebration, there’s strength in numbers, and a solid support network can help keep you on track. 

If you do end up at a bar, opt for mocktails or enlist a bartender to keep those nonalcoholic drinks coming. (Plus, booze-free beverages are booming, so it’s easy to sip something sophisticated-looking without breaking your resolve.)

Make It a Movie Night

Pop some corn, turn down the lights, and stay inside. Decide on a theme, like classic horror flicks, slasher movies, or ghost stories. It’ll be a way to get into the spirit of things without the risk of spirits (of the alcoholic variety) getting into you.

The internet has a wealth of suggestions to help you curate a playlist — anything from the greatest of all time to must-see vampire flicks to the best offerings on a specific streaming platform. One thing’s for sure: You’ll have options. 

Jack-O-Lantern Carving

Consider getting creative for Halloween. Do your own carving freehand, or buy a kit with tools and templates and have at it. It lets you be a bit inventive and keeps your hands busy. As a bonus, if you carve bigger gourds, you can collect the seeds and roast them for a healthy snack.

Go Trick-or-Treating

Take your children (or nieces and nephews) trick-or-treating. Maybe recruit a sober friend to come along. Take it a step further and go in costume. It’ll get you more into the spirit and you’ll make some memories with family and friends. 

Avoid Triggers

If you know or fear something might trigger you (a specific hangout, a haunted house, certain people), it’s a good idea to avoid them. It’s important to take care of your needs. If going out or taking part is too much of a temptation, it’s perfectly fine to visit a 12-step meeting or even opt out of Halloween altogether. 

Remember, your overall health is more important than a day on a calendar. 

Happy Halloween!


adweek.com – How 2021 Became the Breakout Year for Sober October

bustle.com – What To Know About Halloween When You’re Sober

pastemagazine.com – The 35 Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Tips to Avoid Relapse

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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