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Gateway Foundation

Alumni Connections Newsletter

Alumni Connections Newsletter 2023-12-15

December 2023

Happy Holidays from Gateway Foundation

To our Alumni, 

The holiday season is often a time of joy and celebration, but it can also be challenging for those in recovery. The pressures of family gatherings, holiday parties, and the general atmosphere of excess can be triggering for many of us. However, by staying connected with our recovery community and utilizing the tools and strategies we’ve learned, we can navigate the holiday season with sobriety and strength. 

Here are a few tips on staying sober and in recovery over the holidays:

  1. Plan ahead: Before attending any holiday gatherings, it’s important to have a plan in place for how you will navigate potentially triggering situations. This may include bringing a sober support person with you, planning an exit strategy if things become uncomfortable, or finding alternative activities to engage in during the event.
  2. Set boundaries: It’s okay to say no to events or gatherings that you feel may jeopardize your recovery. Setting boundaries and prioritizing your recovery is crucial during this time of year.
  3. Stay connected: Reach out to your support network, whether it’s fellow Gateway alumni, your sponsor, or supportive friends and family members. Attending meetings or support groups regularly can provide a sense of community and accountability, especially during the holiday season.
  4. Practice self-care: Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being is essential during the holidays. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as exercise, mindfulness practices, or hobbies you enjoy.
  5. Focus on gratitude: The holiday season is a great time to reflect on the progress we’ve made in our recovery and to be grateful for the positive changes in your life. Practicing gratitude can help shift our focus away from potential triggers and temptations.

As we approach the holiday season, remember that you are not alone in your recovery journey. The Gateway Foundation community is here to support and empower you. We encourage you to reach out to us for guidance, resources, and encouragement.

Wishing you a peaceful and sober holiday season.

With warm regards,


Shane Hassler
Program Director, Digital Services

Sober Ways To Deal with Holiday Stress 

During the holiday season, alcohol consumption is normalized in our culture, which can make it challenging for individuals who are sober to navigate and manage the pressure that comes with this time of the year. Mercedes Kent, LCSW CADC, Program Director of Central Illinois Outpatient at Gateway Foundation, shared some tips with LaMyiah Harvel of WICS-TV on how people on their sober recovery journey can still enjoy the holiday season without feeling excluded. 

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Holiday Activities to Do in Recovery 

Around this time of year, avoiding alcohol can be tricky. Still, there are countless ways to enjoy this time with your loved ones while staying sober. We’ve put together a list of family-friendly and sober holiday activities.

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How to Enjoy a Sober New Year’s Eve

It’s no secret that society often glamorizes binge drinking, especially on New Year’s Eve and other holidays. While it can feel challenging to navigate the holiday season sober, now is a great time to recommit to your goals and connect to the true meaning behind the holidays. While it will take some planning, celebrating sober will have you waking up refreshed on New Year’s Day, ready to tackle your goals with more clarity and ambition than ever before. 

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