Recovery and the holidays are stressful enough on their own, but the combination of the two can induce severe anxiety for a variety of reasons.
Many recovering addicts may feel uncomfortable in social situations because of the questions people ask about their addiction or the alcohol present at holiday festivities. As a rehab center in Illinois, we know that undergoing trials after rehab isn’t always avoidable, so we’ve provided some tips for managing stress during the holidays in recovery.
How to Manage Holiday Stress in Recovery
Managing holiday stress in recovery can be challenging. Whether you’ve just gotten out of rehab or been sober for several years, staying away from substance abuse can be difficult during the holidays. However, following holiday stress management tips in recovery can help you enjoy the holidays with loved ones without endangering your sobriety.
Remember You Don’t Have to Stay
You are not obligated to stay at any gathering or event. If you feel uncomfortable or come across a situation that may trigger cravings, you should leave the event as soon as possible. Your sobriety comes first, and you don’t want to expose yourself to any temptations that can threaten your achievement.
Have an Accountability Partner
As the name suggests, an accountability partner is meant to hold you responsible for your decisions or behavior. To avoid giving in to any temptations, stay in close contact with someone you can easily reach out to and get advice from. By sharing how you’re feeling with your partner, you can manage your stress without falling into old habits.
Be Ready to Answer Any Questions
Meeting with friends or family members after recovery can be awkward and nerve-wracking. People may have questions about your recovery process, and it’s important to have your answers ready. If you don’t feel comfortable answering any questions, you are not obligated to do so and can politely decline to answer them. Part of managing holiday stress in recovery is making sure you’re comfortable. Discomfort can be irritating and tempt you to use again if it’s not properly addressed.
Many people who complete addiction treatment may not know how to manage stress throughout their recovery. Negative emotions can weaken a person’s resolve and entice them to turn to old habits to cope. If you relapse during your recovery, our stabilization program can help you get back on track and provide you with the tools to stay sober.
Don’t Be Alone
Loneliness is a common factor that causes recovering addicts to turn back to their old ways. Try to spend time with a positive friend or family member that knows about your recovery and has your best interest in mind. By spending time with others, you can keep your mind off any triggers and enjoy the holiday festivities.
At Banyan Chicago, we know that managing holiday stress in recovery can be difficult. We’re aware of the triggers that may present themselves while celebrating the holidays and encourage people in recovery to follow our tips.