Many of us are feeling the pressure and
excitement of the holiday season. There's shopping to get
done, family and friends to visit and all those parties that seem to
pop up from now until the new year. All the festivities tend to bring
lots of highs and lows. And if you're in recovery or are close to
someone in recovery, this time can be especially challenging.
separated from family or friends can be hard this time of year.
Difficult memories from past holiday seasons of overindulgence can come
back to haunt us. The truth is that relapse is often a part of recovery
from drug or alcohol addiction, and this is a particularly easy time to
surrender to that one thought of using or drinking again.
Most substance abuse or mental health professionals will tell those
in recovery, no matter how long they've been sober, to have a holiday
plan in place to avoid relapse
. Here are some tips directly from Hazelden
to prevent the holiday blues and stay sober this season:
Good self-care is vital.
slow down. Take some quiet time each day and work on an attitude of
gratitude. Plan relaxation and meditation into your day, even for a few
minutes, no matter how busy you are.
Go easy on the holiday sweets
and follow a balanced diet. Exercise regularly to help maintain your
energy level amid a busier schedule. Don't try to do too much. Get
plenty of sleep. Maintain some kind of schedule and plan ahead.
Enhance your support system.
Holidays are a good
time to reach out more frequently to your therapist, sponsor, spiritual
advisor, or support group. If you're in recovery, spend time with
fellow recovering people.
Find new ways to celebrate.
Create some new symbols
and rituals that will help redefine a joyful holiday season. Avoid
isolation and spend time with people you like who are not substance
Focus on your recovery program.
Holidays are also
an important time to focus on your recovery program. For example, ask,
"What am I working on in my program now?" Discuss this with your
Release your resentments.
Resentments that gain steam during the holidays can be
disastrous for anyone, especially recovering people. The Big Book of
"Alcoholics Anonymous" refers to resentment as the No. 1 offender, or
the most common factor in failed sobriety.
Read the full article Tips for preventing the holiday blues, staying sober
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