Holidays can be a fun and exciting season of the year. There are plenty of parties, gatherings, and seasonal activities that call everyone to eat, drink, and be merry. For people in their recovery journeys from alcohol or drug addiction, holidays may not be a fun time. Holidays have a lot to deal with, from over-commitments, financial constraints, fatigue, family stress, travel complications, and proximity to alcohol, all of which can put one at the risk of a relapse.
Despite this challenging situation, there are ways you can prepare and safeguard your sobriety. Whether you just graduated from your addiction treatment program or you are struggling with substance abuse problems, here are some tips that can help you avoid relapse and stay sober during the holidays and beyond.
Plan to Prioritize Your Sobriety During the Holidays
Amid stressors and triggers, holidays are a time to be vigilant of your recovery. The triggers could be as subtle as a meet-up with old friends or the seemingly innocuous thought of “let me have one glass of wine.”
The key is to put your sobriety above everything else, even though it may appear to be selfish. Do not be afraid to decline any event that you’re uncomfortable with. Your sobriety at this point matters more than anything else, and for this reason, it is okay to say “NO!”
Develop Sober Strategies for the Holidays
To prevent relapse, you must be aware of your triggers. Identify and understand the kind of places, people, and things that trigger drug and alcohol use. There is no doubt that alcohol and other indulgences are ubiquitous during the holiday season. Therefore, you want to come up with strategies that will protect your sobriety.
Some of the strategies that you could employ include:
Avoid Heated Arguments with Relatives
Family time is always a great time to reminisce about the good old memories you have shared. But besides that, it can be a window to old wounds and hurt feelings. Whenever you get into potentially stressful situations, refrain from letting your impulses take over. If it is too much to bear, do not hesitate to leave the gathering.
Ask People You Trust for Help and Support
When invited to a party, think ahead of how you will handle the situation if there will be alcohol present. Are there people in the party who understand your situation and are supportive of your sobriety goals? Do you have a list of phone numbers of people you can contact?
Attend a Drug and Alcohol-free Party
This is the time to redefine the meaning of the holiday. Make peace with the fact that holidays can be different, and they don’t have to involve alcohol or drugs. With this in mind, you will find it easy to attend and enjoy such a party.
Keep in Touch with Your Support Network
This is the time to stay connected with those that understand you and support your recovery. By working closely with your therapist, you can identify your triggers and develop coping strategies while in such situations. Being in a supportive community means that even at your most challenging moment, you have people who will reassure you, encourage you, and support you throughout.
Be of Service to Others
As you look for ways to stay sober and be the best version of yourself, it can also be an opportunity to be of service to others. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter, make a family recipe to deliver to friends or spend time with a confined neighbor. All of these activities can make you channel your joy and happiness to others.
Seek Help to Stay Sober During the Holidays at Amatus Recovery Centers
Seeking treatment at Amatus Recovery Centers during a holiday can be the best gift to you and to those who love you. Some of our addiction treatment programs include:
- Men’s rehab center
- Women’s rehab center
- Medically supervised detox
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Outpatient treatment program