No matter how long you have been in recovery, staying sober during the holidays can be challenging. Stress, a hectic schedule, the spirit of celebration, and being invited to social gatherings can put you at risk of relapse. However, you can make it through the holidays with the right strategies. To learn more about strategies that will work for you, reach out to Memphis Recovery Center today at 866.304.8254.
Plan Ahead to Stay Sober During the Holidays
This tactic is a key sobriety strategy. You must plan ahead. Holidays are hectic, but most situations are relatively predictable. This predictability can make it easier to plan a recovery strategy for the problems you encounter. Part of planning ahead is continuing to make a recovery a priority. Don’t get distracted with celebrations and miss meetings or talks with your sponsor.
Be Honest About Your Triggers
A key piece of recovery is learning to be honest with yourself. Your addiction will lie, saying that you can have one drink or you can handle going to the office Christmas party. Your addiction may say that being around a relative that causes a significant amount of stress doesn’t put you in danger of relapse. It’s up to you to recognize potential triggers and decide if you can avoid them.
Emotional triggers are often the most difficult to deal with in the best circumstances. If you drink or use drugs when you are incredibly stressed, angry, or sad, you will need to recognize when these feelings come up and know that you need to take extra precautions to stay sober during the holidays. Paying close attention to HALT, or Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, will also help keep you sober during the holidays.
Don’t Give In to Pressure
The problem of peer pressure is consistently an issue in recovery. Many addictions start because someone wanted to be part of the crowd. Not giving in to pressure doesn’t just mean turning down drugs and alcohol. It means knowing when to say no to activities or parties as well. If you have to decline an invitation, let the host know why you are saying no. If it’s someone close to you, offer to meet them for lunch. A one-on-one meeting is much less challenging than a big gathering with several people tempting you.
Keep a Drink in Hand
If you attend events where alcohol is available, one of the best ways to avoid pressure and questions is to keep a drink in your hand. You can keep it simple with water. You can order a look-alike drink if it makes you feel more comfortable. Non-alcoholic punch or cranberry juice are good options. You may want to order a virgin version of your favorite alcoholic drink. While this will keep others from asking questions, the familiar taste may make you crave the alcoholic version.
Remember the Spirit of the Season
It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, celebrations, and gifts. Regardless of your religious affiliation, the holidays are a time of giving and fellowship. It’s a great time to celebrate by volunteering and spending extra time with loved ones.
A few ways you can give back during this time are:
- Baking for friends and family
- Donating used items to charity
- Volunteering at a soup kitchen or toy drive
- Spread random acts of kindness
You can also strengthen your relationships by planning a mini-vacation or even a staycation with loved ones while you are off. Quiet nights around a fire can be just as rewarding as the glitz and glam of celebrations.
Seek Addiction Recovery at Memphis Recovery Centers
If you haven’t taken steps towards recovery, it is the best holiday gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones. You don’t have to spend another holiday dealing with the struggles of addiction alone. At Memphis Recovery Centers, we offer individualized treatment that meets your specific recovery needs. Contact us today at 866.304.8254 to learn more about how we can help.