Getting Through Your First Sober Holiday Season
For most, the holiday season is a time for merriment and cheer, but for recovering addicts, it can be the most challenging of seasons. From work parties and outings to family gatherings, there could be a host of temptations for someone who struggles with drugs and/or alcohol addiction. No doubt, getting through your first holiday season will be challenging, but here are some tips to help you stay on the recovery path.
Bring Your Own Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Spending time with family and friends is always a good idea — especially if they understand that you are recovering and support your efforts to stay sober. If your family and friends choose to celebrate with alcoholic beverages, you can still participate without being tempted to “have just one.” Bringing your favorite non-alcoholic drink will help you feel comfortable with your choice to stay sober.
Create New Traditions
Changing your holiday traditions to support your recovery could be one of the healthiest choices for both your mental and physical well-being. Enlist your most supportive family members to help. For example, take a family trip, try a new outdoor activity that the whole family can enjoy or volunteer as a family for one of your favorite charities.
If you feel that triggers are surrounding you during the holidays, being mindful and practicing gratitude can help you mentally overcome temptations to use drugs or drink alcohol. Some exercises that can help you manage the holiday stresses are:
- Breathing exercises
- Muscle relaxation
- Mantras (repeating words/phrases)
- Guided meditation through an instructor
- Movement (yoga, tai chi, walking, hiking)
Seek Support from Groups and Meetings
During the holidays you aren’t the only one who may be struggling to stay sober. Going to meetings and seeking out help from support groups can not only help to prevent a relapse but they can give you reassurance that you're not alone. If you feel you may be headed toward a relapse, it’s especially important to attend a support group meeting.
It’s Okay to Say “NO”
If you’ve been invited to a holiday party where you know you'll run into people that don't have your best interest in mind or may be a negative influence, it’s ok to say "no" and not feel guilty. Staying the sobriety course is in the best interest of your health and well-being.
Substance addiction is not only physically and mentally damaging, but it can also put a strain on relationships with your loved ones. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, Blueprints for Recovery can help. We provide a safe place for young men between the ages of 18 and 30 with a supportive environment for substance abuse rehabilitation. Contact our Arizona drug rehab today for more information.