Avoiding Loneliness during the Holiday Season

It is important we avoid isolation in early sobriety, as this can lead to depression and relapse quite easily. This is especially true around the holiday season, as you may find yourself missing your family members and friends back home now that you’ve relocated to begin your journey in recovery. Perhaps most or all of your roommates in sober living are traveling home to be with family during this time, and you now find yourself alone in the house for the holidays. What can you do to ensure you do not isolate and sink into a depression?

As with most problems you encounter in recovery, a good first step is heading to your local 12-step clubhouse for support. Most clubhouses organize annual holiday dinners and social gatherings for their members to ensure no one is alone during what can be a difficult time for many of us. Check with your 12-step homegroup about what events are being held for members, as the pandemic may limit their capacity and you will want to ensure you are able to attend.

Even though you are unable to travel to see your family and close friends, you can still connect with them via regular phone calls and FaceTime sessions throughout the holiday. Be sure to use your new sober supports as points of contact as well, many of them will understand your feelings of loneliness during the holiday season. Any time you find yourself feeling bored, anxious, or depressed, pick up the phone, call someone, and talk about it! You’ll be amazed how much better you feel after unburdening yourself of these feelings by sharing them with someone who understands.

In a perfect world, the holidays are a time to be among family and friends, reflecting on the blessings of the past year and looking forward to the blessings of the time to come. While this may not be possible for you given both the ongoing pandemic and your recent relocation for the sake of your recovery, you can still be among supportive, compassionate people either at your local 12-step clubhouse or via technology. Whichever route you choose, take action to avoid isolation and depresson so your first holiday in sobriety can be a joyful one!