It’s Friday. It’s been a tough week for everyone. Meetings, deadlines, difficult bosses. We have all been there. It might seem harder as you start your new sober life, especially when friends and colleagues invite you to shake off the week with a happy hour on Friday. Do you accept and face the temptations? Do you say no and worry that you are alienating coworkers? What should you do?
First, scrap the notion that happy hour needs to involve drinking. In Los Angeles, there are many alternatives to a crowded bar for unwinding after a long week. If you work in an office that enjoys socializing after work, suggest some of these activities to work out your stress while maintaining sober living. If you do not like organizing events, talk to the person in the office that usually handles activities and suggest some of these ideas.
1. Exercise – one of the best ways to handle stress is working out. There are many exciting group exercise activities that you could organize: paddle boards, yoga, rock climbing, hikes or nature walks.
2. Go to a movie – invite coworkers to see the latest blockbuster. Indulge in popcorn and candy, and watch superheroes save the world. Two hours of entertainment is a great way to forget about work stress.
3. Go to a coffee shop – on the television show Friends, the group had a ton of laughs seated around a table in their local coffee house. Some neighborhood cafes offer more than just a cup of joe, showcasing artists and writers.
4. Just say no – it is okay to not attend work events after office hours. Bow out of an invitation by saying you have family or friends from out of town or a prior engagement, and do something affirming to your sober lifestyle.
It can seem scary to face these situations as you start addiction recovery. If you feel you need more support, go to a sober home or recovery center, call your support counselor, or in severe situations, call 911.