May Your Heart Be Light.
Christmas and Hanukkah mark the time of year for family togetherness, celebration, and indulging in festive meals. Despite cultural differences surrounding drinking and the holiday season, those who experience addiction will aim to steer clear of substances altogether.
The holiday season can lead to many emotions for those in recovery. Hopefully this time of year sparks feelings of relief, gratitude, warmth, and connection. For some, especially those in the early days of sobriety, the Holidays can trigger shame or other negative reactions like anxiety, regret, or grief. Engage in recovery-oriented activities to support sobriety during this time. These include attending community meetings, developing plans with people that feel safe, and going to sober gatherings when possible.
Whether you are needing support for yourself, or you have a family member who is in Recovery, check out these tips to stay sober this season:
5 TIPS TO SUPPORT SOBRIETY:
One of the best ways to maintain recovery is to volunteer your time for others. Service marks the spirit of the twelve steps in Alcoholics Anonymous. Giving to others allows the person in Recovery to shift their focus from self-negativity to positivity and confidence through helping others.
Loneliness can be a significant trigger for use, especially during the Holidays. Connecting with others who are supportive of your recovery can make a difference in managing cravings. Surround yourself with friends and family members that will nurture your health and help make this season enjoyable and bright!
Schedule time for naps and alone time as needed. Hanukkah and Christmas can become hectic with the number of gatherings to celebrate the time of year. It’s easy to become overwhelmed or exhausted. Feeling run down and tired can lead to cravings or other triggers for relapse. Quiet time can be an important part of caring for yourself and to maintain sobriety.
Does your family normally drink during Christmas Dinner? Will there be a festive drink at your family Hanukkah party? It’s ok to express your needs for a comfortable Holiday experience, even if that means asking for an alcohol-free get together. This request may not be met, but it is reasonable to voice your wishes. Bring a sober support person with you to family gatherings if it will help, and have an exit plan if tough family dynamics become too stressful.
Stay away from people, places, or things that could trigger a relapse. Do not go out with old using “friends,” stay away from bars, parties where there will be people using, and move away from anything that reminds you of old patterns involved in your past use with drugs or alcohol.
And most of all, have fun!
If you or a loved one is in need of support, Low Country Counseling offers specialized therapy for Individuals, Moms, Couples, Families, Children, and Teens. Contact us for any questions you need answered or to schedule an appointment. Help is available. You are not alone!
Hope Starts HERE.