The holidays can be a challenging time to stay healthy, especially for those in recovery from addiction. Holiday traditions, annual gatherings, and even childhood memories can tug at your emotions, so you must remember how far you’ve already come. During this time of year, consider seeking counseling from an alcohol addiction treatment center. Protecting your sobriety during the holidays is about self-care and preventing relapse. Contact Liberty Bay Recovery Center at 866-824-5276 for support and help with avoiding drinking this holiday season.
Avoiding Drinking During the Holidays
Even though emotions tend to run high during the Christmas season, enjoying a sober holiday must be a priority. Prepare ahead and protect the sobriety you’ve worked so hard to achieve with some practical suggestions to avoid relapse.
Set Expectations and Collaborate
Talk with friends, sponsors, counselors, and professionals about your expectations for the holidays. This is especially vital if you tend to replay childhood memories during Christmas time. Talking with trusted family, friends, and coworkers may help you remember that other people are going through holiday stress, too. When you realize you’re “in the same boat” as those you are close to, it’s called calculating reality. It can help adjust your thinking to be open and positive instead of defensive or on edge during challenging times.
Connect with Others
The holiday season offers many opportunities for spiritual growth while you’re avoiding drinking. As someone in recovery, you’ve already proven that you have courage and strength. Being of service to others as you connect with them will strengthen your recovery and resolve. Some of the ways you can be of service to others include:
- Volunteer for a charity
- Collect toys or winter coats for donation
- Serve meals at a homeless shelter
- Volunteer at a church
- Spend time with a home-bound neighbor
- Reach out to someone new at meetings
Connecting with others as you donate your time and effort to those in need does take courage, but the rewards are invaluable. There are so many ways to give back and be of service to combat the anxiety the holidays can bring.
Avoid Known Relapse Triggers
If you know that Uncle Pete will ask you a thousand questions about rehab, avoid him. If the company Christmas party always has alcohol at every corner, don’t go. Remember Step One of the Twelve Steps: We are powerless over alcohol and drugs. There is no sense in trying to “soldier through” and test yourself against obstacles that threaten your sobriety. If you are not in a good spiritual condition or don’t believe you can stand firm against triggers, stay away from them! Go to a support group meeting or call your sponsor or a fellow sober friend instead. There is no benefit in excessively magnifying your stress or anxiety during the holidays. Safeguarding your sobriety and avoiding drinking should be your number one priority every time.
Have Strategies in Place
Whether it’s attending a program before a holiday event, attending festivities only with supportive (and sober) loved ones, or making sure you have a way to leave a gathering without relying on someone else for a ride, have a plan. Round off events with phone calls to someone in recovery, and never feel guilty about limiting your time in difficult situations. Having a plan will reinforce your confidence in your ability to choose outcomes conducive to your sobriety.
Consider Rehab at Liberty Bay Recovery Center for the Holidays
The holidays are an opportune time to look at yourself and determine whether you need rehab or substance use treatment. Whether you’ve been sober for 12 years or 12 minutes, recovery always must be taken one day at a time, regardless of the time of year. Our compassionate professionals will support you if you’re apprehensive about avoiding drinking and remaining sober during Christmas. For help protecting your sobriety, call Liberty Bay Recovery Center at 866-824-5276.