Spending the holidays with friends and family is one of the best ways to make the most out of the fall and winter months. From family gatherings to workplace parties, there’s almost always something going on to celebrate the loved ones we have. Unfortunately, these same happy times can be a difficult and challenging period for those in recovery for addiction. If you’re one of those struggling with substance abuse this holiday season, here are seven tips on how you can enjoy your holidays while maintaining sobriety.
1. Know What Drives Your Addiction
Certain triggers can create impulses and cravings out of thin air. Understanding what can cause these flare ups make it easier to avoid them altogether as well as avoid a possible relapse. Remove yourself from uncomfortable situations as soon as they become overwhelming.
2. Take Each Day One Step at a Time
Embrace the colder weather and slower pace we all take on when the holiday season starts. It can be a difficult time for everyone, so give yourself some extra slack and remove as much stress and responsibility as you can. This allows you to take a measured and planned approach that focuses on keeping your impulses from worsening.
3. Make Sure There Are Non-Alcoholic Alternatives
Whether you ask the host or bring your own, it’s important to maintain an option that isn’t an abusable substance. Oftentimes families are willing to abstain from alcohol for the night in solidarity with their loved ones in recovery. Even if they aren’t, just make sure they know you aren’t partaking.
4. Have Your Responses Ready
When it comes time to turn down a drink, it can be helpful to know how you’ll respond. Simply letting them know you’re in recovery and currently sober is all it takes for them to understand. If you aren’t comfortable sharing that information, you can tell them you’re a designated driver or that you just don’t enjoy alcohol at all.
5. Put Your Health First
No, this doesn’t mean to ignore the needs of others this holiday season. It means to make your recovery and sustained sobriety the top priority while traversing the holidays. Take time for yourself to unwind and decompress in between gatherings and celebrations.
6. Support System
Having a strong support system is a very important part of recovery. If the people in your life who really care about you and your sobriety, such as family, friends, or those who are in recovery themselves, won’t be with you during a holiday event, find someone you can call, text, or reach through social media if you feel the urge to drink or use. Don’t try to do it all on your own.
7. Lean On Friends and Family
Everyone gathering together is there because they love and care about each other. If you start to feel the pressure of the holidays becoming too much to handle, step to the side and talk to someone you trust for help. Letting someone know what you’re going through and asking them to help is a simple request that loved ones should always be willing to fulfill.
For any questions about addiction, recovery or relapse, reach out to our team of treatment specialists here at Hickory Treatment Centers. Our compassionate approach to substance abuse treatment could be just what you or a loved one needs to turn the holidays into something to look forward to.