Family gatherings, purchasing gifts, decorating and traveling during the holiday season can be stressful for even the healthiest of individuals. If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, it is especially difficult. The stress of the holiday season often causes recovering addicts to fall back into their alcohol or drug abuse problem as a coping mechanism. While those with drug abuse problems may find themselves tempted to use in order to escape their surroundings, recovering alcoholics often find themselves bombarded with invitations to drink. No matter your situation, it’s important to remain focused on recovery, even in the stressful holiday season. By using these simple tips it can be much easier to maintain sobriety.
- Be selective – It is not necessary for you to attend every holiday event or party you are invited to. If you believe the atmosphere or setting will be more than you can handle, politely decline.
- Get support – One of the most effective ways to avoid falling back into your drug or alcohol addiction is to enlist a trusted friend or relative that knows about your struggles and can help keep you accountable. Loneliness can lead to substance abuse, so surround yourself with loved ones.
- Plan ahead – Know the environment of the holiday events you decide to attend before you arrive and be prepared for how you will respond when someone offers you a drink. Have an exit strategy in case things escalate into more than you can handle.
- Just say no – You will likely be tempted many times during the holidays. Make sure you are comfortable repeatedly declining. Don’t give in to the “just one won’t hurt” mentality you may be hearing or feeling.
- Take a break – It is important to know your own limits. If you begin to feel overwhelmed or stressed, remove yourself from the situation and take a walk or a nap. This helps you avoid the feelings of anger, stress or anxiety that often lead to relapse.
- Don’t overdo it – Along the same lines, make sure you are allowing yourself adequate rest and relaxation. Don’t cram your days and nights full of stressful holiday activities. Take some time away to allow yourself to relax and recharge.
- Focus on priorities – The holiday season is primarily about spending time with loved ones. Surround yourself with friends and family who will support and encourage you and avoid people that have a bad influence on you.
The holiday season and everything that goes with it can be difficult to deal with in a healthy manner. Use these tips as a reminder to slow down, take a break and surround yourself with loved ones. It will make staying sober during the holidays that much easier. Do you or a loved one need help kicking an alcohol or drug addiction? Contact Gallus Detox and begin your recovery today.