The holiday season is officially here, and that means now is the time to celebrate with loved ones and reflect on the past year.
With this time of year, comes family traditions that may involve drinking and large parties, and this could seem overwhelming for those who are newly sober. While these holiday traditions can compromise one’s sobriety, there are ways you can still enjoy the holidays while still maintaining your recovery efforts. This time of the year can bring about dangerous triggers, especially for those who are in the fragile stages of recovery. It’s important to make adjustments when it comes to holiday celebrations. The treatment experts at Banyan Treatment Center explain how this time of the year can be tricky for sober individuals and what they can do to maintain their sobriety during the holidays.
Prepare in Advance
While you may feel that you can handle the pressures associated with the holidays, you never know how you will react until you are in the situation. If you are attending a holiday event where there will be drinking games and festive traditions, make sure that you have an exit plan for how you can immediately leave the situation. If you feel uncomfortable or that drug cravings are present, you should call your sponsor or someone from your support group, to talk you through your struggles.
Create New Traditions with Your Family
You should spend the holidays with loved ones who are supportive of your recovery journey and who understand all that you have been through. You and your family can create new sober traditions so you don’t feel left out or pressured to engage in unhealthy behaviors. This can include taking a trip together or playing board games at a holiday gathering. Let your loved ones in on how you are feeling; they will be able to help you navigate your emotions.
Attend Meetings Before the Holidays
If you are starting to feel anxious before attending holiday events, you should go to a meeting. You will be able to talk with your sponsor or other recovering individuals about important relapse strategies, keeping it fresh in your mind. Recovery requires constant effort, and this is especially true during the holidays.