Protecting Your Sobriety During the Holidays: Our Tips
From Halloween through New Year’s Day, the holiday season is a rollercoaster ride of parties, family get-togethers, work obligations and overindulgence. While you might be curtailing these activities somewhat due to the ongoing pandemic, you might still be feeling challenged to maintain your substance-free lifestyle throughout this stressful season. What sensible steps can you take to protect your sobriety during the holidays?
1. Avoid Established Risks
If specific relatives, friends or surroundings represent triggers for you, it’s best to avoid them entirely. Don’t walk into a situation where you know someone could pressure you to “have just one drink for old times’ sake.” Your recovery must remain your top priority, even in the holiday season. If you feel too vulnerable to temptation, it’s always OK to say no. The people who care most about you will understand the goals you’re working so hard to achieve.
2. Start Fresh
If this is your first sober holiday season, you might be unsure of how to make it through the holidays without overindulging in alcohol or drugs. The good news is, you don’t need to rely on intoxicating substances to enjoy many delightful aspects of the holiday season. Sing carols or go ice skating with your family. Go all-out decking your home and yard with colorful lights and other seasonal décor. Bake and decorate cookies, or make a gingerbread house.
3. Use the Buddy System
If you’re worried that attending a holiday get-together will cause cravings or leave you vulnerable to a relapse, invite your sober sponsor or a friend from your recovery group to tag along with you. The additional layer of support will benefit you both, since you can keep each other accountable to your goals and remind you of everything you’ve worked to accomplish.
4. Attend Extra Meetings
Don’t let the holiday season become an excuse to skip your recovery group meetings. Indeed, many people find it beneficial to go to more meetings than usual to protect their sobriety during the holidays. Your fellow members can remind you that you aren’t alone and help strengthen your resolve when you encounter challenging or stressful circumstances. If you choose to travel for the holidays, do your homework ahead of time to ensure you can find a recovery group near your destination.
5. Consult With Your Therapist
If emotional ups and downs threaten your sobriety during the holidays, a therapist can advise you on healthy ways to deal with them. In counseling, you can learn a specific set of coping skills that will enable you to navigate through turbulent waters and view the world from a more positive perspective.
6. Pay It Forward
Finally achieving your independence from substance abuse is a significant challenge, and many people will help you along the way. Once you get sober, you can give back to your community by volunteering for an organization you believe in. Serving others can fulfill the dual purpose of helping people in need and taking your mind off your worries for a while. You’ll feel connected to a cause that’s larger than yourself and get the many feel-good benefits that come with doing something altruistic.
7. Apply Stress-Management Strategies
An addiction recovery program will equip you with many of the necessary tools to recognize and manage the triggers and cravings that often lead to a relapse. You can use these to protect your sobriety during the holidays, whether you choose to exercise, do yoga, meditate, listen to music or take a relaxing bath. Self-care is not selfish; it’s essential for you to be your best.
How to Protect Your Sobriety During the Holidays
If you are worried about returning to drug and alcohol abuse this holiday season, or if you’ve already relapsed, it might be time to enroll in inpatient rehab. At Beach House, we provide a secluded beachfront retreat where people can fully focus on their recovery. To verify your insurance coverage and learn more about the amenities we offer, please call our admissions counselors today.