As the holidays approach, individuals currently in recovery are preparing to handle an increase in exposure to alcohol and potential triggers. Even if you love the holidays, the parties and events held by friends and family members can be a challenge to get through without feeling overwhelmed by impulses and cravings.
Even though many consider drinking to be a tradition during holiday festivities, alcohol is hardly a requirement for a memorable and magical time of year. It’s important to remember that the holidays are about spending time with those you care about, and here are some ways to help you do just that.
Give Yourself Time and Space
Depending on where you are in your recovery, even being near alcohol can put strain on your sobriety. Distance yourself from any openly available alcohol whenever your mind starts wandering to the substance rather than focusing on what’s going on around you. It may take some time to adjust, but you’ll quickly find that staying present during parties helps push alcohol out of your mind much more easily.
A proactive measure you can take is to always have a non-alcohol drink in your hands, even if it’s just water. This can help minimize the number of times you get offered a drink while also giving you something to focus on or distract yourself with if needed. You can even ask the host to make you non-alcoholic versions of drinks being served so you still have something to sip on in these social settings.
It’s Not Selfish To Put Your Health First
Yes, the holidays are about giving, but it’s impossible to give when there’s not much of you available. Being in recovery can take a toll on your physical and mental energy some days, and it’s ok if you need to sit out on certain events or decline an invitation to parties you know will be full of excessive drinking. The best gift you can give those closest to you is becoming the person you truly want to be, and that takes time to do.
Speaking of those close to you, reach out and create a support net with friends and relatives you’re comfortable sharing your experiences with. They can help keep you engaged during parties, plan evenings without alcohol to invite guests over instead of going out, or just be there with an open ear when you need it most.
Are You in Need of Recovery?
When you’re ready to take the first steps in your recovery this holiday season, America’s Rehab Campus is here to help. All it takes is to reach out to our team and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get started.