As the holiday season approaches, many people take time to reflect on the things in their lives they are grateful for. For those in recovery from an alcohol or drug addiction, gratitude is more than part of a holiday tradition. It is a helpful practice throughout the year. Harvard Health explains that gratitude is associated with greater happiness. It helps people improve their mental well-being, savor their good experiences, deal with adversity, feel more positive emotions, and build strong relationships. Expressing gratitude during the holidays is an effective way to help protect your sobriety and avoid relapse.
Express Gratitude This Holiday Season
Read on to learn seven of the many ways you can express gratitude this holiday season.
Whether you are volunteering at a local food bank, serving others in your community, or helping members of your support group in their journey, the act of giving helps you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself. You can help at your local hospital, library, homeless shelters, nursing homes, animal shelters, churches, or parks. You can also go much more personal, helping friends in need by babysitting, doing their yard work, or taking them a meal.
Be Kind to Others
Regardless of the kind of day you are having, being kind to others builds your self-esteem and opens you to opportunities. Being kind can help heal guilt about the past or emotions like anger and sadness. When you are kind to your loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, it shows your gratitude for the life transformation you experienced by becoming sober. Being kind to a person can make a huge difference in their life.
Random Acts of Kindness
One way to express gratitude is to take kindness to the next level, offering some gift of kindness to others when they haven’t asked for it and when you are not expecting their thanks, praise, or something in return. Paying for the coffee of the person in line behind you, leaving a bouquet or flowers on a neighbor’s porch, or donating books or toys to a local preschool are just a few examples of how you can spread your gratitude to the world.
Call a Family Member or Friend
Call someone you have not spoken to in a while. When you call someone special in your life, you let them know you are grateful they are part of your life and that you are thinking about them.
Write a Thank-You Letter
In a world of texts, Snapchat, and emails, take the time to write a physical letter to someone who supported you throughout your recovery. Thank them for their support, and let them know what it means to you. Express your appreciation and enjoyment at having them as part of your life. The person will appreciate the extra time and effort you took to write the letter. It will make both of you feel happy and will nurture your relationship.
Make a Homemade Gift
Giving someone a homemade gift is a personal way of expressing your gratitude to them. Whether you paint a picture, make a photo collage, write a poem, or crochet a scarf, the gift comes from your heart. You do not need to have a skill or be crafty to make a homemade gift. You can bake cookies, put together a gift basket, or prepare a meal.
Be There & Listen
You can express gratitude by listening to others. Take time during the holiday season to listen to the people in your life. Listen to children, your friends, your parents, and people in your 12-Step meeting. Do not offer advice, talk about your similar experience, or try to fix an issue. Just be present and listen. When you are there for another person in this way, you are being grateful for all the times that person was there for you.
Do You Need Help?
If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, help is available at Canyon Vista Recovery Center, located in Mesa, Arizona. Our professional staff uses an integrated approach that includes medical, psychiatric, clinical, and holistic care. The combination ensures that your body, mind, and soul are treated. Call Canyon Vista Recovery today. We will answer your questions, put your mind at ease, and help you take the first step on your journey to recovery.