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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Tips for Getting Through the Holidays Sober

The holidays can be extremely challenging for anyone trying to recover from alcohol or drug addiction. “Instead of the '12 Days of Christmas,' it was more like the '12 Days of Relapse Temptations,' wrote one blogger about her first sober holiday. 

So how do you get through the holidays sober? Here are a few tips that have worked for others in recovery. Take a look and see if they’ll work for you, too:  
  • Identify your personal triggers. Recognizing and planning for triggers is a crucial part of relapse prevention. Do certain people, places, movies or songs stir memories of the times you were using? Make a list and share it with family and sober friends and/or your addiction counselor. Together, you can figure out how to avoid and/or manage these culprits. 
  • Ask for help. Isolating yourself is perhaps the worst thing you can do this holiday season. Instead, reach out to loved ones and recovery peers to help you through the season. Attend support groups (online or in-person) and/or organize sober get-togethers with those closest to you. By surrounding yourself with those who support your recovery efforts, you are putting yourself in a position to succeed.
  • Lend a hand. For many folks in recovery, helping out those less fortunate is a win-win during the holidays. You’ll make a positive impact in someone else’s life and be reminded of how far you’ve come and how thankful you should be. Some ideas: Volunteer at a local homeless shelter, wrap gifts at a nearby hospital or support someone else who is trying to recover from addiction.
  • Flex your “no” muscle. It’s okay (and necessary) to turn down invitations to festivities that could trigger relapse. And, if the host is truly a friend, he or she will fully understand and support your commitment to your recovery. 
  • Get moving. Exercising during recovery is a great way to reduce stress and build-up your self-esteem so you’re calm and focused on enjoying the festivities without alcohol or drugs. 
  • Start a daily gratitude ritual. Over the next few days, wake up and write down one thing for which you’re truly grateful. Many people in recovery say practicing gratitude can help set the tone for a positive holiday. And, if it works, why not carry it into the New Year and beyond.
  • Get in the spirit. Being sober during the holidays shouldn’t stop you from having fun! Bake some cookies, go for a hike, invite a friend for hot chocolate or check out a new movie — the possibilities are endless. Go ahead and build some new sober memories this holiday season. 
Wishing you joy, peace, happiness and lasting sobriety! 

Ready to Begin Recovery? 
If you feel it’s time for a new beginning, don’t let the holidays stand in your way. At Complete Harmony, we can tailor a treatment program to meet your needs at any time of year. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

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