The holiday season is one filled with love, friendship and togetherness. While this time of year is festive and special, it can be tough on those who are clean and sober. Family gatherings, social gatherings, and similar events can bring up memories of drinking and drug use. If you are in recovery, it is important to have a solid plan in place to keep your sobriety intact. By following these 10 tips, you will have the opportunity to celebrate what is truly important—your recovery!
The Top 10 Tips to Staying Sober During the Holiday Season
Choose Your Events Carefully
During this time of year, your inbox and voicemail can be filled with holiday invitations. While it is important to be social, you must choose those events that have the lowest risk for relapse. If you are early in your recovery, it may be wise to stick to family-oriented events and surround yourself with those who support your recovery.
Have an Escape Plan
Whether it is a work party, social gathering or family event, you need an escape plan in the event the urges to use run high. Bring a supportive friend with you or have cab fare with you. If you do leave, just leave! You can always call or email the host or your friends explaining why you left so abruptly.
Avoid Those People, Places, and Things That Are High Risk
A saying often heard in recovery is to stay away from the people, places and things that can make you think about using substances. This is especially true during the holidays. If you get an invite from friends and family who still use, it is best to avoid those situations at all costs. Remember, your sobriety is priority one.
Know Where the Meetings Are
12-step meetings are an important part of your recovery program. During the holiday season, it is important to know where your local meetings are and at what times. If you are traveling, it would be wise to do a bit of research to find meetings in the areas you are traveling for the holidays.
Bring Your Own
Another great way to stay sober for the holidays is to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages. Always ask in advance if your host will be providing any non-alcoholic drinks. If not, ask if you can bring seltzer water, soda or sparkling grape juice.
Stick to Your Routine
The holiday season can be very hectic. Despite your busy schedule, it is important to stick to your normal healthy routine. Be sure to eat well, get plenty of sleep, get exercise and fill your day with other recovery-friendly activities.
Create Your Own Traditions
Look at your recovery as an opportunity to create new holiday traditions. Host a movie night or board game night. You may also want to consider fun activities such as ice skating, sledding, or even volunteering your time to a worthy cause.
One of the first things you learn is the acronym H.A.L.T (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). If left unchecked, these basic emotions can run riot and can lead you to a relapse. Its’ simple: if you are hungry, eat. If you feel angry, phone a family member or friend. You get the idea.
Create a Contact List
The urges to use drugs and alcohol can strike at any moment. When those feelings strike, you need to contact your support people. Always have your phone handy and always have the numbers of family, friends, and others supportive of your recovery at the ready.
Meditate on Gratitude
Perhaps the most important tip in staying sober during the holidays is always feeling gratitude. Be thankful for your sobriety and the people in your life. Realize that overcoming addiction is something to be proud of.
Do You Need Help?
If you or a loved one are struggling with sobriety, help is a phone call away. Comprehensive Wellness Centers is one of the premier alcohol rehabs in south Florida. As one of the best Palm Beach rehabs, we feature drug treatment programs that are effective, proven to work, and can be tailored to meet your unique needs. Call us toll-free today and begin your journey to health, happiness and lifelong sobriety.