The holidays are approaching fast and furious. This season can be really bittersweet if you have expectations. Sometimes this can lead to bitterness and disappointment. The holidays should be a fun time, but it often can feel stressful. Letting go of comparison to how things should be is helpful but so is socializing and seeing family and friends without being triggered. Find some ways to stay happy, social, and sober this holiday season.
Live it Up
The whole idea of the holidays is to celebrate with family and friends, yet maybe you are constantly reminded of the desire to use drugs or alcohol this season. This can be challenging for you if you are in early recovery or later stages because it is a journey that continues for a lifetime. Holiday functions may have free flowing alcoholic beverages and temptations which trigger the desire to use. The following are some ‘survival tips’ for getting past the holiday season without relapsing:
- Ask a sober friend to be ‘on call’ to check in
- Find a trusted friend for additional support
- Find a non-alcoholic beverage you can drink
- Volunteer to help others
- Be selective about holiday events you attend and say no when it doesn’t feel right
Create an Escape Plan
An escape plan is necessary for survival this season. Bring your own vehicle or figure out transportation near the holiday event you are attending that will enable you to leave if you feel tempted to drink or get uncomfortable. The biggest thing to realize is you are in control of your sobriety. Take ownership by getting enough sleep, eating right and exercising. Find new holiday activities and traditions that do not involve drinking and find ways to share time with family and friends you will enjoy. Learning to say ‘no’ to things that are not helpful for you or may trigger you to use alcohol or drugs is to your benefit. Put your sobriety first and realize others may not understand this, but your sobriety is priority. Stick with some of the basics like keeping a sober companion on the other end of the phone at the ready, just in case of emergencies. You may also consider seeking support before and after events from groups you trust and know it is safe to share what is going on in your life. This will help you prevent relapse or feeling triggered as much during the chaotic holiday season. Most of all, have fun but be safe and, most of all, stay sober.
Oceanfront provides individual care programs for people struggling with substance abuse and addiction. We provide a unique, safe space in a serene environment in Laguna Beach. Our programs and services will help you get focused on sobriety and help you move forward in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get (and stay) sober this holiday season: 877-296-7477