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The holiday season is a time of festivities, joy, and get-togethers. However, for those in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, it can also be a challenging and stressful time. With social events centered around food and alcohol, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and tempted to relapse. However, with a little bit of planning, you can protect your sobriety and still enjoy all that the season has to offer.
Here are 17 tips for staying sober during the holidays.
- Identify your triggers: Take the time to identify the situations, people, or emotions that may trigger cravings or temptations. Once you are aware of your triggers, you can develop strategies to avoid or cope with them, such as taking a break, doing some deep breathing, or calling a friend.
- Have a plan: Create a plan for the holiday season that includes sober activities and events. Fill your calendar with activities that support your sobriety, such as attending support group meetings, participating in sober holiday events, or spending time with supportive friends and family. Look for sober-friendly gatherings or host your own alcohol-free get-togethers. Many cities offer events such as concerts, light displays, or volunteer opportunities that are alcohol-free. By creating a plan, you can avoid last-minute temptations and ensure a sober holiday experience.
- Bring your beverages: If you’re attending parties or gatherings where alcohol is served, bring your own non-alcoholic beverage. This way, you can have something festive and enjoyable to drink without compromising your sobriety.
- Surround yourself with supportive people: Spend time with friends and family members who support your sobriety. Limit your time with those who do not.
- Practice mindfulness: Take a moment to pause and check in with yourself throughout the holiday season. Practicing mindfulness can help you stay present and connected to your sobriety goals.
- Take breaks when needed: If you feel overwhelmed or triggered, it is okay to take breaks. Step away from stressful situations and engage in self-care activities that help you relax and refocus.
- Attend support group meetings: Make attending support group meetings a priority during the holiday season. Surrounding yourself with others who are also on a sobriety journey will help you feel less alone.
- Create new traditions: Use the holiday season to create new traditions that support your sobriety. This could involve baking cookies with loved ones, watching holiday movies, or taking part in a sober gift exchange.
- Practice self-care: Make sure you’re eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and participating in activities that bring you happiness and relaxation, such as exercising, meditating, journaling, or indulging in a hobby you enjoy.
- Reach out for support: Whether it’s a trusted friend, sponsor, or therapist, having someone to talk to can provide comfort and guidance when you are feeling overwhelmed or tempted.
- Set boundaries: It is okay to say no to invitations or activities you know will be difficult for you to manage. Do not let others make you feel pressured to do anything that you are not comfortable with.
- Have a plan for cravings. When cravings arise, you could call a sponsor, attend a meeting, or do something else that you enjoy.
- Be assertive. Do not let others pressure you into drinking. It is okay to politely decline drinks and to explain why you are not drinking.
- Do not give up. If you do slip up, do not beat yourself up. Just get back on track and keep moving forward.
- Take it one day at a time. Focus on staying sober for today.
- Remember your why. Why are you in recovery? What are the benefits of staying sober? What do you hope to achieve?
- The last tip is from The Recovery Book by Al Moony, M.D. Every morning, remind yourself how good being sober feels–for the body, the mind, and the heart.
Do You Need Help?
If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we can help. Located in Mesa, Arizona, our skilled professionals at Canyon Vista Recovery Center can help you take back control of your life. Take the first step on the path to recovery. Call Canyon Vista today.