The holiday season is approaching quickly. For those in addiction recovery, the holidays can bring on new challenges, especially for those recovering from alcohol addiction. The family festivities and connections can bring on a new level of stress and anxiety. If you are recovering during this time, it is important to pay close attention to potential relapse triggers.
It is common for alcohol to be present at Holiday parties. For someone who is in early recovery, they must learn to approach things differently than before. It is okay to stay home from parties and family gatherings to protect your sobriety. Always remember that your health should be put first. Dignity Hall can offer some tips that can aid you in protecting your sobriety during the holiday season.
Have a Sober Strategy in Place
Develop a plan that will help you protect your sobriety during the holidays. Any holiday event or activity that could potentially trigger substance use relapse should be carefully considered. You can take some steps before attending an event, such as going to a 12-step meeting before or after the event, attending the event with your sponsor or a sober friend, and limiting your time in stressful situations. It is good to always have an exit plan at events with strategies for staying sober in inevitable situations.
Advocate for Yourself
You are your biggest advocate, and when it comes to any event or party, you have the right to stay home if you feel like it could trigger a relapse. There may be several friends and family members at parties who are drinking for those in alcohol addiction recovery. This can be a tricky situation because you may feel left out or avoid your loved ones. Often, families will use guilt as manipulation when it comes to seeing them around the holidays. You must set boundaries and be assertive when it comes to advocating what the best decision for you to stay healthy is.
If you are at a party and someone offers you a drink, do not be afraid to speak up and tell them about your situation. If you mistakenly take a sip of alcohol that someone offers you, it may not automatically lead to a relapse. However, it would help if you talked to someone who is in addiction recovery about your experience. If kept a secret, rationalizations could lead to relapse.
Celebrate the holiday season and your sobriety by setting time aside for yourself. Exercise, nutrition, and sleep can reduce stress, anxiety, depression and help prevent falling back into old habits. The better you feel physically, the better you will feel emotionally and spiritually. Connect with people who are good influences and help you maintain your sobriety. Each day, set aside some quiet time for yourself to relax, read a book, meditate, and turn off social media.
Coping with holiday stress and relapse triggers includes being mindful of your emotions. Essentially, you should be assessing how you feel throughout the day to figure out what your triggers are. Even though you may feel stressed during the holiday season, it is not a good idea to cope with drugs or alcohol. If you feel like you need additional help with managing stressful situations and relapse triggers, reach out to your therapist.
Create New Traditions
After addiction, you must re-establish your life. Choose to celebrate a clean and sober life that you have created. Host a party with sober friends who are in recovery with you.
Dignity Hall Sober Living Homes
Staff at Dignity Hall Sober Living Homes in South Jersey understands that staying sober through the holidays can be difficult. We are here to support you through your recovery journey. Our homes provide a safe place for your substance abuse recovery. To learn more about Dignity Hall Sober Living Homes, reach out today at 855.380.7560.
Sources: “Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays.” www.hazeldenbettyford.org, www.hazeldenbettyford.org/articles/tips-for-enjoying-sober-holidays. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.