Effective Tips to Stay Sober This Holiday Season
The holiday season is finally here, and people can feel the festivities wherever they go. However, if you are on a journey to addiction recovery, you may not be feeling as festive as everyone else. The good news is there is plenty to be done to reduce the feelings of stress and anxiety this season. More importantly, to reduce the feelings of temptation that may drive you back to drugs and/or alcohol abuse.
Our experts at The Sands Treatment Center have put together helpful tips so you can navigate the holiday season stress-free.
Don’t Deviate from Your Normal Routine
Addiction recovery is a long journey. As a result, many individuals create a routine to stay on track. Even though the holidays can get chaotic, try to stick to your routine as best as you can. Exercise at the same time every day, attend group meetings regularly and don’t skip appointments with your therapist. All these activities will ensure that your mind and body stay healthy. In addition to maintaining your routine, try to get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night. If you can’t, just keep in mind that quality sleep is more important than quantity.
Don’t forget that the holiday season gets in the way of everybody’s lives. Shops are closed, people are on vacation, and life overall seems to be put on hold. As a result, it’s advised to know the schedules of the meetings and people you depend on most.
Find out if group meetings will be held on different dates or canceled altogether. Ask your sponsor if s/he will be out of town for the holidays. If they are not going to be readily available, find a “backup” sponsor in the meantime. The same goes for your therapist. It’s advised to ask in advance if s/he will be out of town and schedule your sessions accordingly. When you find yourself with gaps in your schedule that aren’t usually there, fill up that time with constructive activities or rest and relaxation.
Remember Your Triggers
Addiction recovery is a long and sometimes challenging journey. Therefore, it is important to know all the things that trigger you. Remember these triggers during the holidays and avoid them whenever possible.
Are you triggered by large crowds, gatherings with alcohol and loud music, or a particular person? The holiday season is already hectic, so this isn’t the time to test your discipline. If there are invitations you must turn down, don’t feel bad about doing it. Maintaining your health and abstinence is most important.
Stay Sober with a Friend
If the holidays, in general, are a trigger and you need extra support, consider getting through it with someone. It’s always easier to handle challenging situations with somebody else. If there is someone you attended treatment with or see at group meetings who may also be struggling, suggest supporting each other during the holidays.
If the holidays come around and you don’t have anywhere to go, this can lead to depression, which can result in a relapse. Fill your time with a rewarding activity, like volunteering. By volunteering with the less fortunate, it can fill the gaps in your schedule that would have otherwise been spent alone.
“Do” The Holidays
It’s likely that we have all been there: the season comes around and we decide not to “do” the holidays. Even if you feel overwhelmed, an important part of maintaining your health is being close to loved ones. While we do not recommend you burn yourself out attending every invitation extended to you, carve out time for friends and family, and “do” the holidays this year. Otherwise, you may find yourself combatting a serious case of the holiday blues.
We understand how hectic this time of year can be for most, particularly individuals who are recovering from addiction. If you are committed to staying sober and you aren’t sure how to begin, we strongly recommend utilizing these tips. Not only you will get to enjoy the festivities, but you will also avoid relapse.
If you are someone you know is struggling and needs extra support this season, reach out to The Sands Treatment Center. Learn about the options available to you, such as inpatient/outpatient programs, 12-step programs, and holistic cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Call (844)200-2509 today.