The holiday season tends to be the time of year that most of us use to celebrate friends, family and everything we’re grateful for. New memories are made to reminisce about next year, but this can be a challenge for some. With the holidays comes a new set of stressors and anxieties, rapidly stacking up to an overwhelming level. Maintaining sobriety through the winter months can be extremely difficult due to stress or wanting to celebrate with friends and family. That being said, there are multiple ways you can prepare yourself for a successfully sober holiday.
Immerse Yourself in the Preparations
From hanging ornaments and lights to whipping up a whole list of dishes in the kitchen, there’s something for everyone to do when readying the home for guests. While it’s important to only take on as much as you can safely manage, don’t be scared to ask for something to do if idly sitting around is a source of stress itself.
If you aren’t attending a family gathering this year, reach out to others in your support groups to see if anyone else needs company for the holidays. It’s not uncommon for alumni of the same treatment program to celebrate together in a safe way, fully removing the temptation of drugs or alcohol from the equation. You can also look out for volunteer opportunities to serve at a soup kitchen or help others in need this year.
Remain Present and Stick To Your Own Drink
Holiday celebrations are typically accompanied by alcohol for toasts, mixed in the eggnog and even just simply drinking for the sake of drinking. If you allow yourself to get too overwhelmed or “checked out” at any point, an accidental drink can happen without you noticing it. Don’t panic as one drink doesn’t mean you’ve relapsed or that you should use it as an excuse to. Simply get a different drink and remember to specify to others that you aren’t drinking if they ask to get you anything.
Another reason to stay present is to avoid possible sources of trauma or triggers while navigating holiday gatherings. Try not to interact with siblings that you feel won’t create a positive experience whether that be due to them bringing up painful topics or being someone you previously drank or used drugs with. If a party or gathering is primarily made up of people that fit this description, think about not attending at all or only for a brief hello.
Take Care of Yourself First and Your Family Will Thank You
In order to celebrate the holidays to their fullest, you have to be able to put every part of yourself into it. Taking care of yourself is the only way to feel as put together as possible. Practice great nutrition, a healthy sleep schedule, appropriate workout routine and setting aside time for yourself. Failing to take care of yourself means there’s less of you to go around, and your friends and family will notice the improvement to your mood and demeanor once you practice self-care.
Taking care of yourself also means asking for help when you need it. If there’s something you’re responsible for but find it to be too much pressure, ask for some help taking care of it. It’s the season of giving and caring for one another, so give your friends and family a chance to help you. You can even turn it into a group exercise to make everyone feel more included! None of your loved ones want you to take all the stress on yourself.
Part of taking care of yourself includes knowing when it’s time to seek out additional help through a substance abuse treatment center. America’s Rehab Campus is here for you, understanding the pressures that come with the holidays and how they make addiction even harder to manage. Seeking treatment with our team means getting a custom plan that works for you, making sure you don’t spend any more time than needed away from your family during the holidays. We encourage you to reach out to our team for a confidential consultation if you need extra support getting through the coming months.