While the holiday season is a time for celebration and family, it can be very challenging for people in recovery. Holiday celebrations often involve alcohol, which may be a trigger for many people. Then there’s the stress and anxiety of being around family or going back to your hometown.
These challenges make maintaining sobriety a lot more difficult this time of year. That’s why you must plan ahead. Here are some methods you can use to avoid temptation and stay on the right path during the holiday season.
Have a Support System in Place
Support is crucial for people in recovery, but it’s especially important this time of year. Talking with other people in recovery can help you work out your feelings and discuss triggers before they get the best of you. If you can’t see your support system, make use of calls, texts, and video conferencing to stay in contact. Even if your family is supportive of your sobriety, it still helps to talk to people who understand what you’re going through on a deeper level.
Bring Your Own Beverages
Good hosts will provide a variety of beverages, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Just in case they forget, or the non-alcoholic drinks are all gone by the time you arrive, bring your own beverages to make sure you have options. You can even bring ingredients to make your own non-alcoholic cocktail, such as seltzer water, grenadine, ginger ale, cranberry juice, simple syrup, and other ingredients.
Avoid People and Places That Trigger You
Triggers make it much harder to abstain from drugs and alcohol. Along with negative emotions, people can also be quite triggering. If there are family members that stoke your anxiety and stress, limit contact with them. Even if you’re attending the same parties and gatherings, do what you can to stay out of their path. If loved ones are having parties or celebrations at bars, feel free to turn down the invitation. You can also suggest an alternate venue if possible.
Maintain Your Physical Health
While good mental health is a crucial component of maintaining sobriety, your physical health also impacts your mental well-being. While it’s OK to indulge a bit during the holidays, make a healthy diet a priority. Try to exercise as much as possible, even when you’re away from home. Even a brisk walk is sufficient to get your heart pumping and to clear your head. Also, try to get a good night’s rest as much as possible. When you wake up well-rested, you’ll be able to face the day with confidence.
Duke City Recovery Toolbox is well-aware of how hard this time of year can be for people in recovery. That’s why we provide a range of tools to support you when you need it most. Our peer support specialists are available when you need a shoulder to lean on. We also help with relapse prevention, which ensures you have the tools you need to navigate stressful situations.