Since becoming a federal holiday in 1894, the United States has recognized the first Monday in September as Labor Day. The holiday was conceived by the labor movement of the 19th century to bring attention to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

On this day each year, many companies nationwide grant their employees the day off of work. Some Americans recognize Labor Day as one of the final weekends of summer and the beginning of a new school year. It signifies that autumn is approaching.

Across the country, an abundance of people host barbeques and other social events on Labor Day. Many of these gatherings include alcohol. For some, drinking on a national holiday like Labor Day can be relaxing. For people in recovery, however, going out on this day can be stressful because the presence of alcohol can be triggering.

If you’re in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, it is still possible to enjoy Labor Day without the temptations of substance use. However, you must plan ahead and be cautious of your surroundings.

Be Cautious with Cookouts

Many Labor Day cookouts are saturated with alcohol. For some people in recovery, the presence of alcohol does not induce cravings. If you are one of these individuals, then you may be safe to attend a barbeque. However, be sure to bring a friend who is understanding of your situation to ensure that you do not give into temptations.

If alcohol does trigger cravings or painful memories of the past, it may be best to avoid barbeques where drinking will occur. The day before, contact the event’s host to find out what will be served at the party. This will give you time to change your plans if necessary.

Attend a Parade

Many cities and towns schedule parades on Labor Day. These processions often comprise enthusiastic representatives of businesses, schools or other institutions, and they are attended by people of all ages.

Although you may witness drinking among individuals in the crowd, alcohol consumption at parades is uncommon and often discouraged by parade organizers. If you do encounter alcohol, simply walk to another area to finish watching the event.

Host a Sober Party

Why attend an event when you can create your own? Host a party at your home or another space. When inviting people, make it clear that this is a sober event. This will greatly reduce the risk that you’ll experience triggers or cravings for alcohol.

Hosting your own party can be an inexpensive way to enjoy your day off. It allows you to spend quality time with family, friends and colleagues. It also keeps you from spending time alone, which can lead to boredom that could result in a desire to drink again.

Invite a friend over to watch some classic movies. In honor of Labor Day, you can watch movies about working in America. These films include “Office Space,” “In Good Company,” “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” and “9 to 5.”

Many of these movies are comedies. Watching comedies can be cathartic for people experiencing stress or anxiety. Sharing a laugh with a friend while watching some of these films can improve your mood.

Enjoy the Day in Other Ways

Take advantage of your day off and engage in an activity that you enjoy. If you live near the mountains, go hiking. Go to the beach if you live near the coast. You could also read a book, take a jog around your neighborhood or cook a nice meal.

If you’re employed, you may have trouble finding time during the week to engage in recreational activities or run errands. Labor Day gives you the opportunity to have fun or complete responsibilities at home. Take advantage of your day off and knock some to-dos off of your list.

Labor Day is a time for celebration, not stress. However, it is important to plan ahead, as alcohol consumption may be prevalent throughout the day. Avoid places that might induce stress and anxiety. Maintaining a sober lifestyle is important, and you can still find fun things to do that do not involve alcohol.

If you deal with drug or alcohol addiction, seek treatment. The Recovery Village offers evidence-based treatment for individuals experiencing a substance use or mental health disorder. Patients receive a treatment plan that caters to their specific needs. Contact The Recovery Village to learn how treatment can help you heal.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.