Beginning with Thanksgiving, all of December, and into the new year can be a challenging time for many people around the world. Traditionally, it’s a time to be with family, celebrate with friends, and give thanks for all that you have.
However, if there are few people in your life to celebrate with or too many uncomfortable memories to face, then this time of year might be challenging. It might trigger sadness, depression, and loneliness. It might even trigger cravings to drink or use drugs.
If this is the case, here are some suggestions for staying healthy, safe, and sober this year. Staying sober in the holidays it tough, but these suggestions should help and give you great ideas to stay sober during this time of year.
Find Time to Rest
The holidays can be emotionally draining, especially if you’re grieving old events or if this time of year reminds you of a history you’d rather not remember. As already mentioned, this time of year might easily be a trigger for drinking, drugging, and relapsing – but it doesn’t have to be.
Find time for rest and quiet time for yourself. Remember to take good care of yourself during this time. Good self-care will support your ability to say no to any temptations from family or friends.
Plan for the Season
Sometimes just thinking about the holidays can bring anxiety. The more planning you can do for yourself, the better. Think about how you can make this time easier. If you’re family is getting together but the idea of joining them is troubling, perhaps you can talk to a relative ahead of time and describe your situation.
If you’re someone who misses being with family and the loneliness is a trigger, perhaps you can gather some friends together. Perhaps you can drive to a location where other recovering addicts might be.
Getting addiction help for the holidays is possible, only it might require being creative. Once you’ve decided what you can and can’t do, share your decisions with friends and family.
Set your Boundaries
Some recovering addicts might be able to spend time with family, but with limits. For instance, perhaps old family celebrations always include a toast. Perhaps you need to drink something non-alcoholic. Or it might be the much of your family is using some form of drug – marijuana for instance – and you’ve decided not to participate.
You can communicate your limitation to your family in an effort to stay true to your sobriety.
Be Informed Before Attending Events
Find out who will be there, how long it’s expected to last, and whether there will be alcohol or other drugs. Brainstorm on how you might be able to attend without participating in the drugs and alcohol. Think clearly about what you’ll do if and when you’re tempted with a drink or a joint. Be prepared with your answer so that you’re not caught off guard.
Ask for Help, Even When It’s Hard to Do
If it feels right, allow people to help in concrete ways such as being a sober companion at parties, driving you home when you are ready to leave, and encouraging your sobriety. Or you might need addiction help with processing your feelings about the upcoming holidays.
Friends are there to help; you can rely on them for being a support in your sobriety and prevention of relapses.
These are some suggestions for staying sober this holiday season. It might not be easy but sobriety is a strong possibility. With the right support from friends, your sponsor, and perhaps your therapist, you can make it through this season with ease.
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