Holiday Stress in Recovery

We are all aware that the holidays could be some stressful times for us. For some, the holiday season is a time to gather with friends and family to eat, drink and have fun. We get so caught up in the season that we don’t take the time to think that this time could be a very depressing and lonely time for others. For those that suffer from addiction not having the right tools could trigger a possible relapse.

 

Here are some tools that will help guide you through the holidays and keep that sobriety in CHECK.

Take it one day at a time.

I know it’s the cliché in the 12 Step program but making a plan for each day will keep you organized and reduce stress. Get yourself a notepad and write down a to-do list for each day, make sure you write down everywhere you need to be and give yourself the time to get there.

Be Aware of your triggers.

Be aware of the people, places and things that could trigger a relapse. If you are going to a family or friends house and you think it could possibly trigger you, bring a sober friend with you. If you are going to be in a place that’s going to cause you stress and make you feel uncomfortable, limit the amount of time you stay there. Remember, you can always leave at any time when you start to feel uncomfortable. If needed, go to a meeting before or after any activity, it only takes 2 people to make it a meeting so even a phone call to someone in recovery could work.

Count on your Support System.

One of the most important parts in recovery is having a strong support system. If those people that support your recover and really care about you are not going to be around you, find someone that you can call or text when those cravings come that make you want to drink or use. Don’t try and handle it yourself, work it out with someone.

Bring your own Drink

One of the things that I do now is I always bring a Yeti tumbler filled with my favorite drink wherever I go. Having your own drink will help with the cravings and will help you feel more part of the celebration without putting your sobriety at risk.

Do some Service Work.

Lets face it, The holidays are one of the main reasons why some people relapse. Volunteering your time during the holidays can make you understand and realize how lucky you are. Go out and volunteer at a local food bank, a church or a homeless shelter. Help those that are suffering more than you by putting together some gift bags for the homeless or visit a nursing home. There are a lot of opportunities for you to be of service to others.

 

If you struggle during the holidays, remember you are not alone. Reach out to those that support you, attend some extra meetings than you normally do, or be of service to others.