The holidays are a time to eat, drink, and be merry. However, for people recovering from alcohol addiction, it can be very difficult to stay sober. The festive season is supposed to be a period of merriment. However, it can be an emotional time associated with fatigue, financial difficulties, and family drama. Traveling and participating in increased social events can make it even worse.
If you’re spending the holidays away from your support system and your usual routine is disrupted, you can become more vulnerable. And of course, many holiday activities traditionally involve alcohol. Fortunately, if you prepare for the Christmas and New Year’s Eve period, you can safeguard your sobriety. Here are six tips which can help you.
Devise Strategies to Ensure You Stay Sober
If you know an event will be triggering for you, you need to plan for how you will handle it. Some people find it helpful to go to a meeting before or after the event. Others feel more comfortable attending in the company of a sober friend or even their sponsor. Alternatively, you may prefer to drive yourself so you have complete control over when you leave. If you being to feel uncomfortable or stressed, you can leave. A large part of staying sober is being aware of situations that can be problematic. When you’re aware, you can put strategies in place to handle these situations.
Pay Attention to What You’re Drinking
In social settings, people often feel the urge to offer others a drink if there’s nothing in their hands. If someone offers you a drink, be sure to specify that you don’t want any alcohol. It may best to order your own soft drink and keep it in hand so people don’t constantly make offers. If you accidentally sip something alcoholic, don’t panic. This doesn’t automatically mean that you will relapse. However, you need to get rid of the drink and talk to someone who would understand.
Be Positive in Your Thinking
You’ll probably have lots of emotions concerning the holidays. You may remember things that happened around this time in the past including events from your childhood. Talking to a counselor, your sponsor or someone else who understands recovery can help. Remember that you‘re not the only one feeling stressed out at this time of year. Try not to have unrealistically high expectations and remember to be forgiving of yourself.
When you have the right approach, you may find that you enjoy the festivities. However, you should also be aware that some addicts relapse after the holidays. They tell themselves that after what they’ve been through, they deserve a drink. They may also think that since they made it through the holidays without drinking, they are no longer addicted. It’s best to take your recovery one day at a time both during and after the festive period.
Helping Others Can Help You Stay Sober
The holidays provide a wonderful opportunity to connect with others and show gratitude. If you’ve been managing your recovery, it shows that you have courage. You can advance your recovery by being of service to others. Spend time with an elderly neighbor, help the homeless or show kindness to someone who is new in town. If you see another need that should be met, you can also seek to assist. Paying it forward will make you feel great and it’s a large part of the holidays.
Take Care of Yourself
You won’t be much help to anyone if you let the stresses of the holidays get to you. Make sure you eat well, exercise and get adequate sleep. When you’re in good physical shape, you’ll be stronger emotionally. You should also take time for quiet personal and spiritual reflection. You can meditate, journal or engage in prayer or other activities related to your faith.
Consider Going to Rehab
If you’ve been struggling to maintain your sobriety, the holidays may be the ideal time to go to rehab. Because of the challenges we’ve identified here, many addicts relapse during this time of the year. If you anticipate a very difficult time, treatment may be the best gift you can give yourself.
Let Asheville Recovery Center Help You to Stay Sober
We offer individualized treatment programs that address the unique needs of each client. We know that everyone is different. That’s why we’ll meet you where you are and help you on the road to recovery, and help you stay sober. Our integrative approach caters to every aspect of your wellbeing. Schedule a consultation with our experienced and professional staff today.