Family. Holidays. Presents. Decorations. Resolutions. Traditions. What do they all bring? That’s right. Tons and tons and metric tons of stress. For the average person, it can drive them to tears and to distraction. For people who are struggling with substance use disorder, the stakes are far far higher. Maintaining sober living during the holidays can be extremely challenging. The strains from social gatherings, increased family stress, and sudden triggers can lead to relapse for individuals in recovery from addiction. Just because it can be hard to keep living sober during the holiday season, doesn’t mean it’s not important. In fact, living sober during the holidays can make it the most rewarding time of the year.
Tips on Living sober during the holiday season
Preparing to live sober before the holidays begin:
Staying sober during the holidays can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. The most important thing to do is be prepared. Accept that you will be stressed and it may be difficult, but if you’re prepared, it is more than possible. Here are a few ways that you can give yourself the best possible chance to succeed in staying sober during the holiday season.
- Don’t use the holidays as an excuse: The holidays can be a beautiful time. And many people indulge in substance use as a part of their celebrations. The holiday season often brings about a sense of celebration and togetherness, but it’s important to remember that these occasions shouldn’t be used as an excuse to excessively drink.
While indulging in a glass of wine or a festive cocktail can be a part of the merriment, it’s crucial to prioritize moderation and responsible consumption. Or, to accept your limits and understand abstaining from alcohol and embracing sober living is right for you. The holidays should be about cherishing moments with loved ones, fostering meaningful connections, and creating lasting memories. None of those things require drugs or alcohol. And many of them are made worse by the use of substances.
- Plan Ahead: Prepare yourself by planning ahead for events and gatherings. Have an exit strategy if you feel uncomfortable or triggered. Consider attending events with supportive friends or family members who understand and respect your commitment to sobriety. Make your needs known ahead of time. It’s OK to put yourself into situations where you can succeed.
- Stay Connected: Even through the holidays, try and maintain regular contact with your support network. Whether it’s through attending support group meetings, connecting with a sponsor, or talking to a trusted friend or therapist. Having people to talk to can provide valuable encouragement and guidance.
Living Sober during the holiday season:
- Practice Self-Care: Living sober means prioritizing self-care activities that promote mental and emotional well-being, such as exercise, meditation, adequate sleep, and healthy eating. These practices can help manage stress and reduce the risk of relapse.
- Set Boundaries: Be assertive in setting boundaries when it comes to alcohol or substance use. Politely decline invitations or situations that may compromise your sobriety. It’s okay to say no and prioritize your well-being.
- Have Non-Alcoholic Options: If attending parties or gatherings, bring or request non-alcoholic drink options. Having a non-alcoholic beverage in hand can help avoid questions or pressure to drink alcohol.
- Create New Traditions: Consider creating new holiday traditions that do not involve alcohol or substances. Engage in activities that bring joy and fulfillment, such as volunteering, crafts, games, or outdoor activities.
- Practice Mindfulness: Use mindfulness techniques to stay present and manage cravings or triggers. Focus on the moment and use breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation to stay centered.
- Be Realistic: Acknowledge that the holiday season might bring stress or challenging emotions. Be realistic about what you can handle and seek help if needed. It’s okay to ask for support.
- Celebrate Sobriety: Celebrate your commitment to sobriety and the progress you’ve made. Reflect on the positive changes in your life and the benefits of staying sober.
- Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you’re struggling to stay sober during the holidays, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from counselors, therapists, or addiction specialists who can provide additional guidance and support.
Seeking help can equip individuals with coping strategies, tools, and a support network to stay committed to sobriety amidst these circumstances. Moreover, addressing alcohol abuse during the holidays is crucial for preserving one’s physical and mental health, maintaining relationships, and fostering a more fulfilling and joyous holiday experience rooted in genuine connections and meaningful moments.
Get help now!
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, please know that there is hope and help available at Plum Creek Recovery Ranch. Taking that first step towards recovery can be daunting, but it’s a courageous choice that can transform your life. At Plum Creek, you’ll find a compassionate and supportive community dedicated to your well-being.
Call today at (512) 601-8599 or Contact Us here. Embrace the opportunity to heal, grow, and rediscover the beautiful potential within you. Reach out to Plum Creek Recovery Ranch today, and let them guide you towards a path of recovery, restoration, and hope. Your journey to a substance-free, fulfilling life starts here.