This time of year can be one of the most difficult times to stay sober. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure you stay on the path of your sober living lifestyle.
In this article, you will discover a few tips all about staying sober during the holidays.
Staying Sober During the Holidays
According to some reports, relapse rates spike 150% during the holidays. If you can relate to these statistics, then you know just how hard it can be to stay sober participating in common holiday practices.
You attend family get-togethers, office parties, and social events. You engage in gift-giving and receiving, traveling, and downtime when nothing is going on. In just these things alone there are multiple triggers that can lead to relapse.
Family members and relationship problems, free time, having money, and watching others get high or drunk are just a few things that will cause the brain to start thinking about using again. And when the brain starts craving, it can be hard to stop, causing a relapse.
The stress of the season can make things even worse. Stress can feel overwhelming and tempt you to cope with old, negative coping skills. This can lead to a relapse.
There are things you can do to prevent relapse during the holidays. Use the steps listed below to help you stay sober.
Give the Holidays Less Importance
Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays are rarely celebrated based on why they were created. Christmas was originally a celebration of Christ Jesus. Today, it’s more about giving and getting gifts, Santa Clause, traveling, and socializing with friends and family.
Society places too much importance on all the wrong things. But you don’t have to.
What’s more important, staying sober or getting a new watch from your family? Staying sober or attending an event where alcohol or drugs may be present? Staying sober or relapsing?
Staying sober is your most important goal right now. Weigh its importance in every decision you make this holiday season. If you find yourself putting less importance on your sobriety, it’s time to increase your support.
Triple Your Support
Many people decrease the number of times they attend meetings, counseling or other support systems. Doing so means they are also decreasing their ability to stay sober. Addiction is a war and if you want to win you must armor yourself, even more during the holidays.
Instead of attending two meetings a week, attend seven. Instead of meeting with a counselor once a week, meet two or three times.
To further armor yourself, get a sober coach who can be with you in situations that may be tempting. Even better, choose a sober coach who will help you skip going to places that could be a trigger for relapse.
You don’t have to go to every event you are invited to during the holidays. In fact, you don’t have to go to any of them. The ones who respect your sobriety will completely understand if you do not attend their event.
The holiday season is made up of a few weeks of social events. Just a few weeks. Participating in activities that hold temptations will make the holidays feel a lot longer than just a few weeks. They will drag on and on because you are spending your time staring relapse in the face and trying not to use again.
By finding something else to do, you can learn to have sober fun, which will make it feel like the holidays have flown by.
The gift of giving is rewarding. Providing a service or volunteering in your community is a great way to avoid relapse during the holidays. Rather than attending parties and events that are celebrating for all the wrong reasons, do something that gives you purpose and value.
Feeding the hungry, visiting sick children in a hospital, or taking gifts to the elderly in nursing homes are just a few examples of activities you can do to give back and make a positive difference in someone else’s life.
Your focus can shift from the stress of facing temptations to the feeling of gratitude that comes with helping others. You will be grateful for the gift of sobriety and for the chance to live a different lifestyle.
For so long you have ignored your mental and physical needs, making it hard to stay in recovery. As you have learned in the past, not taking care of yourself makes it easier to relapse.
So, let’s try something new this holiday season. Let’s try self-care, which has been proven to improve mental, physical, and spiritual strength.
Self-care means visiting medical doctors who can evaluate your physical needs. Those aches and pains that make you think of relapsing may be fixable. Those crying spells or anxiety attacks for no reason could be eliminated by working with a mental health professional.
Finding a spiritual path and connection can help you discover your purpose.
You are worthy of self-care and all its positive benefits. One of the best forms of self-care during the holidays, especially if you are trying to avoid relapse, is to explore the benefits of a sober living home.
Seek Inpatient Treatment
Facing your temptations and trying to avoid relapse on your own does not make you a stronger person. Instead, it makes it harder for you to succeed. What can make your stronger is learning how to use support systems to help you overcome temptations.
Addiction is a disease of isolation. Staying sober takes help from others.
A sober living home will provide assistance and support around the clock so you can rest assured you’re in the best company.
As mentioned before, the holiday season is just a few weeks long. In this short time, you may find it difficult to excuse yourself from social events where you may be pressured by those around you. When it comes to sober living, there are no cheat days … you must stick to your goal and demonstrate your dedication to yourself.
If you’ve been through inpatient treatment and want to ensure you stick with your sober living lifestyle, you may find it easier to join a sober living home. A sober living home will provide the environment you need to thrive and move forward with confidence for years to come.
A sober living home will also ensure you avoid relapse, which occurs more often during the holidays.
You can get through the holidays without relapsing. Seek help if you need it and be proud of yourself for putting your sobriety first. You can do this.