For recovering alcoholics, the holiday season can be especially difficult. With Christmas and New Year parties, alcohol is likely to be easily and cheaply available. Although the increased temptation does make it more difficult to avoid a relapse, it is not impossible. There are several things you can do to prepare for and stay sober during the holiday season. Here, we present you with some effective tips to sustain your addiction recovery.
Don’t forget what’s made you successful
Regardless of what your plans are for this holiday season, don’t forget what’s made you successful thus far. If you are attending a support group like AA, you should continue to attend the meetings. You must not skip out because of the busy holiday season.
Stay away from old habits
This is especially important that you stay away from old friends, events, and places that contributed to your alcoholism. Whether this is your first holiday season since your alcohol detox program or your 20th, you should not fall back into old and unhealthy habits. Instead, create new, stronger traditions with supportive friends and family to replace your past destructive patterns.
Ask for support
You have loving friends and family all around you. Pick a few who know about your struggle with alcoholism and who can support you through the holiday season.
If you are going to a New Year’s or other holiday parties where alcohol will be present, make sure you have someone there who can hold you accountable and give you the support you need to make it through with your sobriety intact.
Plan your events carefully
It’s very difficult to completely avoid alcohol during the holidays, but you should do your best to do just that. Instead, make plans to spend most of your time with supportive friends and family.
If you do attend an event with alcohol, make sure you have a plan, someone to hold you accountable, and an exit strategy.
Even though it’s cold outside, it’s still important to keep up with your exercise routine because it’s not only good for your physical health but also for your recovery from addiction. Endorphins are released when you exercise, and these endorphins help you feel happy and protect you from depression.
This goes hand in hand with breaking old routines and establishing new ones that are better for you physically and mentally. Giving some of your time to a good cause in your community can help take your mind off the pressures and stresses of the upcoming holiday season.
Watch out for common triggers
In order to have a successful recovery, you need to not only know what your triggers are but be able to recognize and counteract them.
Your individual triggers may vary, but some that apply to almost anyone are:
These triggers are especially prevalent around the holiday season, so be on your toes. If you’re hungry, eat something. If you’re tired, get some sleep. It will go a long way to helping you stay sober during the holidays.