Staying sober during the holidays is definitely possible – many people do it every holiday season, and you can too. Staying clean and sober over the holiday season is not necessarily easy though, and many people struggle at this time. The holiday season often brings up strong memories and emotions, and these can be hard to deal with, especially for someone new to recovery. However, it’s important for us to realize that help is always available, and that we don’t have to go through these difficult times alone.
- Be of Service. Help out whenever you can, whether it’s at a get together, a meeting, or hanging with friends, wash dishes, greet others, clean up, watch the baby, do whatever you can to help ease the holiday tension.
- Stay Busy. It’s easy to get into relapse mode when you have too much down time. Schedule yourself for daily activities, plan a to do list each day, set your day up to be a success in your sobriety.
- Keep a phone list handy. These days all you need is a smart phone in your pocket, but make sure you have a list of phone numbers of other alcoholics or addicts who are in recovery that you can call if you start to feel the itch.
- Participate in local recovery celebrations and meetings. Being a part of the group isn’t always our natural reflex as recovering alcoholics and addicts. During the holiday season it’s easy to get into isolation and spend too much time alone. Make sure you remain active in local events put on by those in your home meeting groups or local clubhouse or church.
- Steer clear of sticky situations. By not risking a bad situation, you can avoid being in a bad situation! Stay away from old triggers such as people, places and things that remind you of using or stir up cravings to use.
- Take a sober friend with you. If you have to attend a party or an event where there will be drinking present and are uncertain of what that looks like for you, the safest bet is to bring along a buddy who is sober and you can be accountable to. Not only does it reduce social anxiety but it reduces your risk of relapse!
- Have a plan. Before exiting your pad to the annual employee Christmas party, make sure you have an exit plan in case you find yourself in an uncomfortable or sketchy situation that may put your sobriety at risk. Have your Uber app on your phone ready to go, make sure your phone is charged, just be prepared to exit early if you must.
- Go late & leave early. This is always an easy one if you have social anxiety. By reducing the overall time you spend at a holiday party, you are less likely to let down your guard and remember that you don’t use or drink NO MATTER WHAT.
- Take your phone with you. Always keep your line of communication open so that if you need to you can call for help…and don’t forget to charge it first.
- Get enough rest. Becoming hungry, angry, lonely, or tired will only increase your chances of becoming weak and making poor decisions. A well rested head is a happy one.
These 10 tips for staying sober during the holidays are helpful, especially if a person is already clean and sober, but often an alcoholic or drug addict needs treatment before they can achieve any sobriety to start. If you or anyone you know is struggling this holiday season with addiction, contact us at Lighthouse Treatment Center today for help. Financing is available, and our dedicated and experienced treatment professionals are always ready to help you or your loved one.
-Written by, Ivy Chase.