How to Enjoy a Sober St. Patrick’s Day
by Sarah Lockwood
St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that is meant to be enjoyed by everyone. Unfortunately, many people that choose to abstain from alcohol tend to feel left out during the celebration of the Irish. Some choose not to drink because they are on the road to addiction recovery, while others may parent young children and feel that not drinking is the more responsible thing to do. While alcohol and St. Patrick’s Day seem to be synonymous, there are a few healthy and safe alternatives. Here’s how you can enjoy St. Patrick’s Day while maintaining your sobriety!
Participate in a St. Patrick’s Day Run/Walk
Many cities celebrate the holiday by hosting St. Patrick’s Day-themed 5k’s and marathons. If staying sober is one of your main priorities, nothing will keep you on track more than training for a 5k. A 5k is a long distance road-running competition over a distance of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) and is the shortest of the most common road races. If you’ve never ran a long distance race before, don’t fret. You can be 5k ready in as little as 8 weeks by downloading and using a Couch to 5k program to your smartphone.
In the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day you will be mentally and physically preparing your body for something greater than succumbing to addiction. It will become easier for you to say no to things that don’t serve your body and yes to the things that do, like rest and healthy dietary choices. Running a 5k on a day where most are wandering around in a drunken stupor will make you feel empowered and in total control of your life. On race day, give yourself a pat on the back for just showing up and doing something good for your body! Invite friends to dress in St. Patrick’s Day garb and greet you at the finish line! Use this holiday to celebrate turning a new leaf and choosing life over addiction!
Host an Irish-themed dinner party
One of the best ways to avoid the St. Patrick’s Day hoo-ha is to stay in the comfort of your own home and invite family and friends over for a meal. Celebrate the day by preparing a dinner that matches that of the Irish culture. In America it is all too common to mistake traditional Irish dishes with Irish-American dishes. Many believe that the national dish of Ireland is corned beef and cabbage, however those native to Ireland say otherwise! Have fun with the holiday by delving deep into the rich history of the Irish and find a recipe that is really true to their heritage. A couple of favorites of the Irish are Irish stew and champ, which is a widely popular potato dish. Search online for a few recipes that stand out and give yourself plenty of time for a few practice runs before the actual day of the dinner party. Be festive and invite your guests to dress in gear that resembles what the Irish would wear! The best part about hosting a St. Patrick’s Day dinner is that it can quickly turn into a tradition. Use this day to gather your loved ones each year to celebrate the luck of the Irish in a fun, healthy way!
Irish tradition is a far cry from the alcohol-driven festivities that have become increasingly popular in today’s society. Choosing not to partake in such events does not mean that you can’t enjoy the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day. Start a new tradition that matches your beliefs and create your own lane for celebrating the day!