The holidays can be a great time of year to relax and spend time with friends and family. They can also be highly stressful and full of demanding obligations such as gift shopping, travel, and many others. This stress can increase the likelihood of relapse into alcohol abuse, so it’s essential to develop healthy strategies beforehand on how to deal with it. Here are 10 solid tips to keep you on track.
Take a holiday from the holidays. Step back from expectations that bring stress to the season. This could be as simple as avoiding the Christmas shopping crowds, or maybe deciding not to deal with the annoyances of holiday travel. Find what works for you and your recovery, and stick to it.
Socialize only with those that support your recovery.
The holidays can be a very social time of year. Socialize and enjoy the company of friends and family who help you recover – and be sure to avoid those who don’t. You’ll be strengthening the bonds that matter while putting yourself in a supportive environment. If you don't have anyone at home that is also in recovery, go to your nearest 12 step meeting.
Focus on the little things. The holidays are the best time to focus on the small things that bring you pleasure, whether it’s watching a movie with friends, learning a new song on your guitar, or just enjoying the holiday atmosphere. You may find that these small moments are some of the most enjoyable.
Keep moving. Exercise is a great, healthy way to remove yourself from the hustle-and-bustle and reduce stress. It will help clear your mind from the typical holiday insanity and improve your mood for the better.
Stay positive. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to give your own issues a holiday. Try to put these mental hang-ups aside, whether it’s through occupying yourself with a new TV show or discovering some new music.
Get a good amount of sleep. Getting enough quality sleep is one of the keys to recovery. The risk of relapse is higher in those with low quality and/or not enough sleep, so do your best to get a good amount. Setting up a“sleep schedule,” exercising in the mornings, and avoiding electronic lights at night (computer screens, TV, etc) may improve your sleep’s quality and help you get to sleep sooner.
Ask for help. There is no shame in seeking help from others. It’s important to recognize that the holidays, while fun, can also be very stressful. Tell your friends and loved ones that you could use their support as you navigate the holiday season.
Go with the flow. As much as we try, it’s not always possible to avoid the stress that the holidays can bring with them. While we can’t change what happens to us, we can change our attitude towards it. Try not to fight any stressful situations that you can’t change, whether it’s getting stuck in a line gift shopping or having a flight delayed.
Surprise yourself by doing something new. It’s always good to seek out new experiences, and the holidays are a great time to do it. Whether it’s learning how to play a musical instrument, trying a new restaurant, or pursuing a more physical hobby, taking up new activities will enrich your life and keep your mind in a good place.
Celebrate life. Above all else, remember that the holidays are a time for celebration. Remember that you have decided to make a positive change in your life, and that you are committed to making it happen. This could be the greatest gift you could give yourself.
AND IF YOU DO FALL DOWN... ...get up and start again! You are only human and we all fail from time to time. It's how you bounce back and start again that matters! Happy, Sober Holidays!
The important thing in all of this is that you seek help for your drug addiction. Do not let fear keep you from the life you have always wanted. You do not need to fight this disease alone and any and all concerns that you have can be addressed as you move through the process of recovery. So call the professionals at Evolutions Treatment Center today, at 1-866-771-7091. We are standing by to help you finally overcome your addiction.