Holidays are an amazing time of year, but for some people struggling with addiction it can be harder than a normal day. Busy travel arrangements, expectations, and fatigue can lead to mood swings and elevated emotions. It’s important to focus on yourself and your sobriety this holiday season. It’s what some people like to call a high-risk season, but with these few tips you will be able to protect your sobriety; a true gift for having a sober holiday.
5 Tips For a Sober Holiday
- Plan Support. We all have our ways of coping with addiction, but most commonly we can agree on support. Be it a sponsor, a friend, a parent or a community group, reach out to these support systems leading up to the holidays. If there is a certain family gathering that will be a stressful situation for you, set a specific amount of time. If necessary, set checkup calls with your support before and after an event. Rehearse responses if you’re not comfortable explaining to a distant family member that you are in recovery. Create a script and stick to it when others offer, but remember- it’s okay to tell people you are in recovery. We all need an escape plan at the Family Christmas party- just make sure yours is fool proof.
- Focus on Others. You have progressed so much and have exhibited courage and strength to get where you are. How can you give back this season? By donating time to a local children’s shelter, or a meal for the homeless, you will be giving back and feel a more grounded sense in the community. The love and joy you will find in this will be a very positive feeling this holiday season.
- Beverages? How is that a tip! It’s social to always have a drink in your hand. Make it a point to get your own drinks so you’re not relying on anyone else. A water bottle or a soda in your hand will make you feel comfortable and will also shield off others offering you a beverage (perhaps alcoholic) if you’re already holding one.
- Self-Care. The better you feel physically, the stronger you will be emotionally. If you are not well rested and healthy, your mental stamina won’t be as tough. Avoid stressful situations and people, if possible. If you only stop over briefly, to excuse yourself from the temptation, that’s okay! Give yourself a pat on the back for understanding your limits and your strength for staying away.
- Seek Treatment. Don’t wait until after the holidays to seek treatment if it’s needed. There’s never “an appropriate” time to get help and the holidays can be extra stressful. It takes true courage and strength to ask for help, and especially to people we love and respect. The best gift this holiday season is your recovery for you and your loved ones. Remind yourself how good you feel to be sober and how it can only go up from here. Happy Holidays from Step One Rehab!
By: Erica T.