While the holidays are supposed to be a joyous time for family get-togethers and celebrations, it can be a difficult time if you’re recovering from drug or alcohol addiction treatment. With alcohol being easily accessible, you may be tempted to have a drink or two. Some may feel overwhelmed by the family gatherings and experience emotional turmoil and stress. Others may feel lonely and be tempted to turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope.To avoid relapse, it’s best to avoid tempting situations over the holidays. Here are a few tips to help you survive (and perhaps even enjoy) the holidays.
Take it One Day at a Time
The holidays can feel like either a never-ending parade of parties or a long, empty, lonely stretch. Rather than look at the holidays as a huge obstacle, it becomes easier if you break it down, day by day. Focus on the present moment and make a conscious effort to create a daily plan on what you intend to do with the next 24 hours.
Know Your Emotional and Environmental Triggers
You’ll feel more prepared and confident when you know what places or feelings lead you to drink or use drugs. If there’s a certain bar that reminds you of your past life, avoid it. If you know you tend to drink when you feel lonely, think of a few people you can call or visit when you feel this way.
Don’t be Afraid to Say “No”
There’s no rule saying you have to attend every social function that you’re invited to. Know your limits and politely refuse offers to attend parties if you find them to be too stressful. There’s no shame in saying, “Thanks for the invite, but I’m sorry I won’t be able to make it.” It’s important to carve out time alone to meditate, de-stress and just relax.
Keep Up With a Few of Your Regular Routines
One of the reasons why the holidays are so difficult for recovering addicts after drug rehab is the break from routine and lack of structure. Make an effort to continue going to the gym and exercising regularly. Try to avoid too much sugar which can cause mood swings. Try to remember to eat meals at regular times.
If you dread the prospect of going to a party without having a drink in hand, pack your own favorite non-alcoholic drink so you can avoid the bar altogether. Pack a few healthy snacks to munch on in between meals such as nuts, trail mix, and fresh fruit or veggies. Make an effort to come early and leave early to avoid the times when people begin to drink more heavily. If possible, drive yourself so you can remain in control of when you wish to leave.
While you may be tempted to have just one little drink or a drop of alcohol – don’t. The temptations of the holidays will soon be over, and you can continue to avoid relapse and continue along your path to long-term recovery. Call us today at 866-349-1770 to learn more about our drug and alcohol rehab programs.