Everyone looks forward to the holidays for different reasons. Some of us are excited to see old friends and family members while others are simply interested in the festive meals that come with the winter months. While the holiday season comes with anticipated stress over finances and planning events for large groups of people, those with an unhealthy relationship with drugs or alcohol may have an entirely different set of concerns. Facing these struggles head on with the support of a professional team is the healthiest way to make the holidays, and the rest of the year, more enjoyable.
Why the Holidays Are Perfect for Starting Treatment
While recovery can start at any time, you may think that the holidays should be spent focusing on those around you. The truth is that addiction and substance use disorder (SUD) keep you from fully engaging with your closest friends and relatives, and they likely notice that something is plaguing your mind. Give them, and yourself, the gift of recovery that lasts a lifetime instead of temporary presents that still lack the genuine connection addiction is holding back.
Being able to enter rehab during the holidays also serves as an escape from the normal stresses that we all feel. When you’re in addiction treatment, the only focus you need to worry about is on your own growth and healing. You’ll also be protected from the numerous triggers and pressures to drink or use drugs, either socially or as a coping mechanism for stress. Those who love and support you will be around during the holidays too, giving you more motivation and compassion to commit to treatment.
How To Stay Sober During the Holidays
If you’re currently in recovery or have recently started celebrating your new sober lifestyle after rehab, the holidays can be a sort of stress test on everything you’ve learned. It’s important to lean into healthy coping mechanisms developed during treatment. For options to turn to if your coping strategies aren’t doing as much as you’d like, try one of the following:
- Ask the host of dinner or holiday party if there’s anything you can do to help. If they respond saying they can take care of it, simply tell them you’re a bit stressed and would love to have something to take your mind off things. Remember, you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to.
- See if someone will step outside with you if you need to get away from the action for a bit. Having another person around can help keep you engaged and stop you from leaving the engagement entirely to seek out drugs or alcohol.
- Stay away from triggers. These can range from certain family members and locations to alcohol itself for those recovering from alcoholism. If you’re comfortable sharing where you are in your recovery, ask that they provide non-alcohol beverage options or remove alcohol entirely. You’d be surprised at how willing others are to help you maintain your sobriety!
Those you choose to spend the holidays with should be your closest and most supportive loved ones that only want you to succeed in your recovery goals. If you need assistance in achieving and maintaining sobriety, or you’re the concerned loved one this holiday season, please don’t hesitate to reach out to America’s Rehab Campus. Our compassionate team of recovery specialists are standing by to help make the transition into rehab quick and simple, and our doors are open 24/7 all year long.