It’s officially the kickoff to the holiday season. ‘Tis the season for good times and cheer, but for individuals in recovery from addiction, the holidays can be an particularly trying time to maintain sobriety.
The holiday season can be a difficult time for many people for different reasons, but especially tough for those in the early stages of recovery. With a combination of added free time, holiday parties, and troubled family relationships, the holiday season presents its own set of triggers that can influence relapse. Although relapse doesn’t mean failure in recovery, it doesn’t have to be a part of your recovery. Below are some steps you can take to ensure a safe and sober holiday season.
Adjust Your Attitude
It’s understandable that the holidays can be a stressful time in recovery. However, talking with a friend, sponsor, or professional therapist about the emotions you are experiencing can help adjust your attitude about the holiday season. Keep in mind that everyone else is most likely experiencing some of these same feelings. This realization itself should help you adjust your attitude and feelings you may have. Open up your mind to be positive and accepting, and the rest will follow.
Celebrate Your Recovery
The best way to remind yourself why staying sober is so important is to celebrate your own success. Celebrating your recovery acknowledges all the hard work and dedication it takes to achieve sobriety. Taking the time to recognize your recovery achievements is a positive way to remind yourself of how far you have come- and inspire you to keep going during the holiday season.
Be Mindful and Aware at Gatherings
There are plenty of social gatherings during the holidays. The holiday season is a time when many people come together and celebrate. At these gatherings, it helps to be mindful and aware of what you are drinking. It’s helpful to always have a beverage in your hand to prevent others from pouring you an alcoholic one. Not everyone is aware of your situation, so they may not know your specific request. Being mindful of this and taking control of the situation prevents any uncomfortable situations that could lead to relapse.
Remembering to practice self-care during the holidays is crucial in maintaining your sobriety. Celebrate the holiday season by taking time for yourself. Uplift your mind, body, and spirit by doing what it takes to take care of yourself. Self-care can be anything to make you feel better, whether that means taking a day off to rest or taking a walk outside. Proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep habits influence both your physical and mental wellbeing. Nourishing your own body and spirit will have you feeling positive and restored during the holidays.
Help Others in a Time of Need
The holiday season is a perfect time to help others in need. There are many powerful opportunities to volunteer and offer services to those who need it most. Sobriety in recovery is already a huge show of courage and sharing your time with others in need only strengthens your recovery. Volunteering at a homeless shelter, helping serve meals to those in need, or speaking at a treatment center are excellent ways to pay it forward during the holidays. Sharing time with others in need during the holiday season provides a sense of gratitude for your position and allows you to spend time positively.
Spend Time with People Who Support You
The holidays are all about spending time with the ones that matter the most. Now is the perfect time to reach out to friends and family who have supported your recovery and sobriety. If you attend support group meetings, keep it up. Not only do your peers know that you’re in recovery, but they also understand what you are going through. When it starts to feel difficult, talk to them about how you are feeling and be open to their advice. If you are feeling lonely, stressed, or overwhelmed during the holidays, never be ashamed to reach out for extra encouragement from your support system.
Enjoy the Holidays
For those in recovery, the holiday season can feel like a challenge. But, the holidays provide new opportunities to heal, rebuild family bonds, and celebrate your recovery. It is possible to enjoy the holidays in recovery by staying positive, committed, and honest with yourself and your loved ones.