The end of the year brings with it some of the most beloved celebrations and holidays. Everyone takes time to look back on their year and take stock of what they’ve overcome and what they’re thankful for. Being in recovery during the holidays can make it difficult to enjoy these moments to the fullest, and can even test your sobriety due to various sources of stress and potential triggers. It’s important to focus on the fact that you’ve achieved sobriety and get to have a sober holiday with those you hold closest.
To help you during this joyous season, here are some of the ways you can join in on the holiday fun while still practicing relapse prevention methods.
Create New Memories and Traditions
We all have our traditions that come out every holiday season, some old and some new. Now that you’re in recovery though, you should take a moment to think about the traditions your loved ones hold to consider if they could be a possible trigger. Perhaps a certain tradition stresses you out or makes you uncomfortable. Try doing something completely different in its place that everyone can still be excited about and take part in.
A complete change of scenery is a great way to create a new tradition and remove yourself from a setting that may still be difficult to be in during your recovery. Get everyone together and instead of doing gifts, however many people want to come can pitch in on Airbnb. If you prefer to stay local, see if there’s a caroling group to get out of the house and bring some joy to others to get in the holiday spirit! Being in a better mood makes avoiding alcohol easier to sustain throughout dinners and parties.
Keep Your Hands and Your Mind Busy
It’s the age old idea that when you have something to do, you’re less likely to give into temptation. There’s truth to this, and you can make it happen without anyone noticing if you prefer to keep your recovery more personal. An easy tactic is to keep a non-alcoholic drink in hand when socializing. You can bring your own or ask the host if they’d be willing to provide non-alcohol options. This limits how often you may be offered a drink and you still get to sip on something with other guests.
When there’s a lull in the activity, perhaps before everyone arrives or as things die down, you can help the host out with preparations or putting things away. Having a task keeps your mind present and away from thoughts of drinking that can quickly turn into overwhelming cravings.
Celebrate Recovery at ARC
The holidays aren’t just about one person, they’re about coming together as loved ones to catch up on life and rekindle relationships. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction this holiday season, the team at America’s Rehab Campus invites you to reach out for a free consultation. We’re here to help you overcome this challenge so you can be fully immersed in the holidays.