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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Maintaining Your Sobriety on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and many people are looking forward to the opportunity to enjoy their favorite dishes and gather with family and friends. However, if you’re working on your recovery, you might be dreading Thanksgiving and all the pressure it brings.

Even if you have successfully stayed substance-free for several months, holidays like Thanksgiving often represent a unique temptation to drink. How can you enjoy the long holiday weekend without jeopardizing all the hard work and progress you’ve accomplished up to this point?

1. Bring a Non-Alcoholic Drink

Many Thanksgiving hosts consider it polite to offer their guests a choice of alcoholic beverages. Someone might thoughtlessly hand you a beer without realizing what a risk that could represent for you. To combat this, arrive at the gathering with a cooler full of your favorite non-alcoholic drinks, and be sure to keep your beverage of choice close to hand at all times.

2. Have an Exit Strategy

Gatherings like Thanksgiving can be stressful and triggering for many people. Plan what you’ll do if you start feeling overwhelmed and need to take a moment to yourself. For example, you might find a quiet area where you can sit and practice deep breathing techniques until you calm down. In some cases, you may even decide to leave early. Have a polite excuse planned ahead of time, and if you drive yourself to the get-together, make sure you park somewhere nobody else is boxing you in.

3. Be Grateful

Don’t lose sight of the true spirit of Thanksgiving: practicing gratitude. Make a list of everything you have to be thankful for this year – improved physical and mental well-being, new friendships and the opportunity to make a fresh start in your life. You can even begin or end your day with a gratitude meditation to help you count your blessings and reflect on the things that bring you joy.

4. Rely on Your Sober Support Network

A sober supporter can keep you grounded and remind you of your goals to remain substance-free this holiday season. If you can’t find a friend to attend your Thanksgiving gathering with you, ask if they’re willing to respond to your calls and texts during the day. Attend a group meeting or schedule a therapy session before or after Thanksgiving dinner to stay on the right track.

5. Offer to Help

Staying busy is one way to keep your mind off any cravings that might arise. Before dinner, offer to pitch in with tasks like last-minute decorating or food prep. After the meal, lead the cleanup efforts by doing dishes, taking out the trash and tidying the kitchen. The host will appreciate having an extra pair of hands, and you’ll be able to demonstrate your commitment to your recovery by showing everyone how much progress you’ve made.

Cutting-Edge Addiction Treatment

If you’re exploring addiction treatment facilities and are looking for alternatives to traditional 12-step therapy, consider the holistic approach. At Complete Harmony, we provide a range of evidence-based options combined with complementary therapies that will start you on the path to a mindful, well-rounded recovery. Connect with us when you’re ready to learn more.
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