8 Reasons Staying Sober During the Holidays is Important
The holiday season can present many challenges for individuals in recovery to maintain their sobriety. Complicated family dynamics, loneliness, and holiday events involving drugs or alcohol, can be triggering for individuals. Relapses happen, especially during times of stress like the holidays. One strategy to keep you sober during the holidays is remembering all the reasons why it is important, which includes:
- Waking Up Feeling Rested and Ready to Go. Being hungover free for the holidays is great because now you can wake up ready for a day full of experiences and events, actually enjoy meals with family, and maybe even get some exercise in.
- Wake Up Without Regrets. Waking up sober means you do not have to worry about what you might have said or done the night before. You will be more in control of your words and actions, which means no more embarrassing, anxiety filled mornings.
- Keep Yourself and Loved Ones Safe. Sobriety means you will likely not end up putting yourself or loved ones in harm’s way, such as driving under the influence or getting into fights.
- Spending More Time with Your Family. Addiction causes you to spend a lot of time obtaining, using, or recovering from substance abuse. Now you won’t be late or completely miss out on family get togethers or your kid’s or niece’s/nephew’s holiday show.
- You Create Better Memories and Remember Them. In the past, the holidays were probably an excuse to get overly drunk or high, because it felt more socially acceptable. It might have stolen away from experiences with your family or not remembering those experiences. Things can be different now that you are sober and you can take better advantage of time with loved ones.
- Saving Money. Alcohol and drugs are expensive. When you think back at how much you were spending on substance abuse, you can see how much you will be saving now and use that extra cash towards special gifts for loved ones or even yourself.
- Save On Calories and Your Health. Excessive drinking can really add on the calories which can lead to weight gain and several health issues, such as diabetes. Not drinking will allow you to overall be better to your body and mind.
- Better Able to Keep a Level-Head During Stressful Times. Although the holidays are filled with joy and celebration, they can also be stressful. Sobriety will allow you to tackle stresses through healthy coping mechanisms and with composure, instead of getting angry or upset due to substance use.
What You Can Do to Help Your Loved One Stay Sober During the Holidays
If your loved one has recently completed drug and alcohol rehab, you are probably elated to have them fully present them around for the holidays. However, you are probably also aware of how the holidays can be filled with several stressors and triggers which may put their sobriety at risk. Navigating how to help your loved one in recovery is challenging and you may not know the best way to help them. Here are some ways you can help your loved one stay sober during the holidays:
- Check in and Be Supportive. Check in on your loved one on how they are doing and try to create a sober-friendly environment for them. Let them know it is normal to have cravings and feel tempted, and to not feel embarrassed about these feelings but to reach out for help or support.
- Ask How You Can Help. Ask your loved one how you can ease stress for them during the holiday season and what you can do to support them.
- Reduce Holiday Pressures. Let them know it is okay to decline an invitation, not to go to a certain activity, or leave a party early. While you want them to participate in holiday events, it is up to them how comfortable they feel.
- Prepare Other Family Members and Loved Ones. Help educate other family members and friends about addiction and how they can be supportive. Let them know about relapse triggers and how even if the person was not in rehab for alcohol, “one glass of wine” will hurt and can be a major relapse trigger.
- Encourage Healthy Habits. Help them keep up with their self-care routines, such as getting to bed early, eating healthy, and exercising. You can even practice these habits with them.
- Plan Sober Holiday Activities. While most holiday activities can be centered around parties with alcohol and drugs, they may not feel ready to go to those and feel left out of celebrations. Plan sober holiday activities such as seeing Christmas lights, baking cookies, a movie night, or a family game night in.
What to Do in Case of a Relapse
First thing to remember is that relapses happen and they are a part of the recovery process. The important part is remember you have not failed but rather is a setback and you can get back to sobriety. Many individuals will experience feelings of guilt or shame after a relapse. You may also feel like giving up and like you will never succeed at recovery. However, no matter how well you stick to your recovery plan, sometimes relapses are inevitable. First, you need to determine if you need to go back to rehab. While an isolated incident does not usually need a full rehab program, if you have fallen back into a continued pattern of substance abuse, you may need to look into treatment programs. Otherwise, reexamining your relapse prevention plan and coping skills can be a good place to start. Other ways you can get back on track after relapse during the holidays, includes:
- Lean on your support network and ask for help.
- Focus on forgiving yourself and not on feelings of guilt and failure.
- Immediately get back to working on your recovery with plenty of meetings and your self-care routine.
- Learn from your past time at rehab including coping skills and tools you learned. If you were able to do it once, you can achieve sobriety again.
- Create a new list of goals for yourself, your recovery, and how you will prevent future relapses.
- Enter a rehab program if necessary. You may not need to start from the beginning and can start in an outpatient program.
TruPath Can Offer the Support You Need
Addiction recovery can be easier compared to the first time around. You know how to reach out for help and what works best for you. TruPath is a nationwide network of addiction treatment centers across the U.S. If you feel you are struggling with your sobriety or have relapsed, we can get the personalized treatment plan you need to get a stronger hold of your recovery. We provide all levels of care and can quickly get the help you need in the treatment facility closest to you. Our treatment programs are made up of a range of addiction therapies to fit your needs and help you get back to a place of sobriety quickly. We treat each patient with respect and without judgment. Relapses happen and we just want those who are struggling with their sobriety to reach out quickly and confidently to get the support they need.
Please contact us today if you need support in your recovery or need to regain control of your life. We are always available to take your call.