9 Ways to Survive Valentine’s Day in Recovery

Many people in recovery find themselves single after leaving an unhealthy relationship behind. Others struggle to rekindle a relationship that may have been damaged by their addiction. The emotional toll of February 14 can challenge your recovery goals, but there are plenty of ways to stay focused on your sobriety, whether you’re single or paired up.

1. Make a Plan

Sometimes the worst thing you can face on February 14 is a day without a plan. Get your schedule in order and know exactly what you’ll be doing the entire day. It doesn’t have to be a minute-to-minute itinerary, but filling it with activities and obligations ensures that you won’t have any downtime to be tempted by alcohol or drugs.

2. Stay Home

Worried about temptations? Plan to stay home to cook and eat and celebrate sober, whether you’re with your sweetheart, flying solo, or hanging out with friends. You won’t be distracted by the wine list or other typical enticements. Make a mocktail, get some sparkling cider, and toast to your new sober life.

3. Prioritize Yourself

Instead of getting down about Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re single, remember that this is a day to celebrate love of all kinds—including the love you have for yourself. Getting sober is an act of love and a gift for you and your loved ones. Celebrate this achievement by spoiling yourself with your favorite things, whether that’s a box of chocolate, a new book, a long drive, a cozy nap, or delicious takeout.

4. Shift the Love

If you aren’t in a romantic relationship and the pressure of Valentine’s Day is getting to you, take time to honor the connections that are true and deep. “Galentine’s Day” (or “Palentine’s Day” for guys) is an opportunity to connect with your sober friends and honor the connections you have with each other. Spend the day having fun and don’t worry about hearts and flowers.

5. Go to a Meeting

If you’re lamenting a lost relationship on Valentine’s Day and you dread the dawn of February 14, make it a sober holiday by going to a meeting, or more than one if necessary. One of the most important parts of recovery is knowing when you need extra support, admitting it, and reaching out to get that help.

6. Unplug

The last thing you need to do on Valentine’s Day is spend it engrossed in social media, especially if you’re single and wishing you were not. The fastest way to go down the rabbit hole is to be inundated with other peoples’ photos of gifts or posts about how lucky they are in love. You are lucky—because you are sober. Unplug and write in a journal, go for a hike, read a book, stay offline, stay committed to your sobriety.

7. Count Your Good Fortune

It’s easy to think that alcohol and drugs are the keys to making every celebration better, but in your newfound sobriety you hopefully realize they are not the things that are missing. In fact, they were probably what made every special occasion fall apart in some way. Drugs and alcohol create illusions and dull feelings. This year, as a sober adult, you have the power to truly feel all the love and celebrate Valentine’s Day in healthy ways.

8. Opt Out

It’s perfectly fine to ignore Valentine’s Day entirely. Your new life in recovery is all about being purposeful about what works for you and skipping the things that don’t. If you’re stressed out by Valentine’s Day, ignore it. Don’t engage with this trigger. Avoid the traditions that do not serve your new goals and establish new traditions that do.

9. Remember That It’s Just One Day

Valentine’s Day, like all those other challenging holidays, is just one day of the year. Special occasions can be difficult when you’re sober if in the past you celebrated these holidays with alcohol. If you’re feeling challenged by the date of February 14, keep reminding yourself that if you were able to achieve sobriety, you can absolutely get through this one day of the year. If you need to, think about February 15. How do you want to wake up the day after Valentine’s Day? Hopefully well-rested, not hungover, and feeling good.

Learn more about holistic rehab and get the recovery support you need from the therapeutic team at Beachside Rehab. Contact our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770 to discuss your individual needs and how luxury rehab can work for you.

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