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Monday, November 16, 2015

For a Happy Holiday Season, Stay the Course in Recovery

holidays in addiction recoveryThis is the time of year when traditions take center stage as friends and families plan to gather for festive meals and holiday celebrations. Decorations come out of storage, favorite recipes are featured on the menu, and friendships and family ties are renewed. Life takes on a warm aura of happiness and anticipation.

At least, that is the myth. 
The reality is that these holiday celebrations often bring feelings of stress, anxiety, and dread. For people in early recovery, the holidays can be an especially difficult time, when you are likely to be exposed to social occasions with alcohol, uncomfortable questions, old friends, and old habits. In other words, you will probably encounter every one of those relapse triggers you were warned about in rehab.

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the holidays and still stay on your recovery path. 

1. Feel free to say, “No.” Give yourself permission to stay out of situations that are unhealthy for you – even if they are fine for other people.
2. Anticipate uncomfortable situations. Prepare an answer for those life-update questions your great aunt always asks. Make sure your favorite non-alcoholic beverage is on hand. Have an alternative engagement planned in case old friends try to coax you into old partying habits.
3. Stick to a regular schedule. Don’t neglect your exercise, meditation, sleep, and nutrition routines. You’ll be better able to cope with holiday stress.
4. Use your support network. Attend extra meetings and talk with your sponsor, counselor, or pastor. Your support network may offer holiday social functions that are now more satisfying for you. Enjoy your new friends.
5. Break with tradition and try something new. Plan a holiday trip or a local excursion. See a play or attend a museum. Volunteer to help distribute toys or serve a holiday dinner for the homeless.
6. Practice gratitude for the opportunities recovery has given you. Look beyond the holidays to your life in sobriety. New interests, new friends, a sense of self-worth, energy, and accomplishment are all possible in a sober life.

Are the holidays the right time to begin your recovery? 
There is no season to addiction or recovery. If it is time for a new beginning in your life, don’t let the holidays stand in your way. Complete Harmony, CA’s alternative, holistic rehab center, can tailor a treatment program to meet your needs at any time of year. Call 866-930-4673 to begin the streamlined admissions process and insurance verification today.
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