The holiday season can present some serious challenges for recovering addicts, especially since this time of year is heavily focused on celebrations, parties, and social gatherings that might even trigger past memories of indulgence in drugs and alcohol. Given that the holidays are often stressful for most, regardless if they battled with addiction or not, it is no surprise that the stressors these months tend to make recovering addicts feel as though the universe is testing the sobriety they worked so hard for.
However, there are many ways to reduce the risk of relapsing, so you can stay sober this holiday season.
Below is a list of some tips that will help you navigate the coming months:
- Be prepared: It can be hard to turn down a drink, so instead of stressing over what to say or giving into temptation, have a few responses ready in the event someone offers you a drink. If you feel it is best to turn down a party altogether, have a response ready for that as well. That said, if you find yourself fumbling for words when asked if you would like a drink, always remember that you do not owe anyone an explanation. You can simply say, “No thank you,” and ask for a non-alcoholic beverage instead.
- Remember why it is important to stay sober: You decided to recover from your addiction for a reason or, in all likelihood, for many reasons. If you feel like your dedication is wavering in the midst of all these parties and gatherings, take a moment to remind yourself why you chose to enter recovery, write down your reasons, and carry it with you. You could also write a letter to yourself from the future, stating how you made it through the holiday season sober. These letters can play an important part in reminding you why sobriety is so critical during times of vulnerability.
- Choose your holiday parties appropriately: You are not under any sort of obligation to attend every holiday party you are invited to. Of course, you cannot avoid every single party you are invited to, particularly if it involves your family, but try to avoid the gatherings where you know alcohol will flow more freely. If you do end up choosing to attend a party where drugs and alcohol are present, ask yourself if this it is actually an event where quality time is actually being shared. If the answer is no, try to just steer clear. After all, a party that will only last a matter of hours is not worth risking your sobriety for.
- Plan a way out: If you plan to attend an event where people are drinking, make sure you can leave if you start feeling the urge to drink or use drugs. If possible, as part of your escape plan, attend parties with a sober friend in order to keep one another accountable. This will also make leaving the event easier.
- Spend time with those who are supportive of your sobriety: Your recovery is important to you and it is imperative, now more than ever, to surround yourself with those who understand that and support your recovery. Attend more local sober events and always keep a list of a handful of people whom you can call if you feel lonely, or simply need to talk to someone about staying sober. The people who are worth keeping in your life will support you in your recovery rather than make it harder on you.
- Start some new traditions: In the process of fighting for and achieving your sobriety, you had to break some old habits that were hindering your ability to live a happy and healthy life. Take the time now to replace them with new traditions that help facilitate your dedication to remaining sober. Host your own sober party, go ice skating, make holiday crafts, or buy new games. The potential for sober holiday fun is virtually endless.
Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation in New Jersey
If you are ready to take the first steps toward achieving sobriety, you need to work with a team that has helped thousands of people every year since 1975 confront and defeat their addiction. Turning Point in New Jersey understands that no two people are alike, which is why our treatment programs are personalized to each individual’s needs.
Contact us today at (973) 380-0905 to learn which of our rehabilitation programs is the best fit for you.