From holiday punch and eggnog to the stress of family gatherings and obligations, the six-week stretch from Thanksgiving to the New Year can be an extremely high-pressure period for anyone. In recovery, this time can be even more trying.
Staying Sober for the Holiday
As the holiday season is fully underway, here are some tips for staying sober for the holiday and learning to maintain a positive outlook this year and beyond.
Don’t make excuses
During the height of the holiday excitement, you may find yourself concentrating on the stress of the season instead of the enjoyment of it. No matter what, it’s important to remember that high stress is not a reason for relapse. Recovery, whether you’re an addict or supporting a loved one, takes hard work. Use this time to remember that you’re bettering yourself and your relationships by staying sober.
You don’t have to tell friends/party hosts/family why you’re not partaking
If you’re offered a drink during the holidays, sometimes the simple prospect of saying no can be intimidating. But remember, you don’t have to offer a speech or proclaim all the reasons you choose to say no. You simply have to say no. Real friends will respect that. If you’re offered drugs during the holiday, of course the same policy applies, but this could be a red flag that you’re running with a crowd that can bring you down. (Keep reading!)
Surround yourself with people who empower your choices
During this time, and really all times during your recovery, surround yourself with friends and family who support your recovery goals and respect your wishes. For added support, consider bringing a friend who has time sober and is working a program of recovery to parties where there may be alcohol. And remember, if you don’t feel comfortable attending an event where there may be alcohol, it’s okay to decline an invite. Real friends and people who love you will always respect your sobriety.
Create new traditions
While it’s important to avoid negative people and parties where alcohol and drugs are the focus of the entertainment, it’s also important to maintain some means of social interaction. The holidays are a great time of year to celebrate the joys in your life, and an even better time to celebrate sobriety. Consider hosting a party for friends in your recovery program and starting your own holiday tradition.
No matter what steps you take to maintain positivity and keep on your recovery track, stay safe, stay sober and stay supported this holiday season.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please give us a call 1-800-861-1768.