The holidays can be a particularly trying time for those in recovery. Seeing family and friends, including those you might have used with or those that create stress in your life, can be a trigger. Holiday parties, where everyone else seems to be imbibing, may be a recipe for disaster. If you are facing the holiday season with some trepidation, check out these five tips to help you stay on track with your recovery until the New Year is rung in.
Don’t get caught in a difficult situation this season; instead, plan ahead for possible obstacles. Make sure your plans for the holidays include plenty of time with others that are supportive of your recovery. Think through every party invitation you receive – if the temptation will be too great, there is no reason why you can’t bow out gracefully and find an alternative that will make it easier to stay sober.
During the bustle of the holidays, it can be easy to forget self-care. However, it is more important than ever to avoid the common triggers for a relapse, such as hunger, anger, loneliness and fatigue. Maintain a healthy diet and your exercise program throughout this busy season, and make plans to spend time with people you enjoy. If any of these issues arise, work through them with the support of a trusted friend or sponsor rather than turning to a substance to cope.
Sitting and visiting with friends and family may be a common holiday pastime, but it can also be one that results in an urge to drink or use. When planning time with those you love, choose activities like sledding, cookie decorating or tree trimming to do together. When your hands are busy, you will be less likely to think about drinking or using.
Choose Companions Wisely
The holidays are often the time when we see people we might not spend as much time with the rest of the year. However, if those people include those you used to drink or use with, you may decide this year to change things up. Instead, celebrate with friends that are also in recovery or people that will avoid drinking or using in your presence to give you the support you need.
Maintain a Network
Support, an essential factor in any successful recovery, becomes even more important during the holiday season. Keep a list of 10 people in your purse or wallet that you can call any time you feel the urge to drink or use. When your support network goes with you, you will be more confident you can handle situations that might arise during this time of year.
The holidays can be a tough time for those in recovery, but the seasonal festivities don’t have to derail you. These tips will help you ride out the season and get to January with a feeling of accomplishment for maintaining your sobriety. For more help, contact Simple Recovery at 888-743-0490.