Enjoying the holidays as a newly sober individual can be challenging. Of course, you want to take part in all of the festivities and share in the joy of the season. Past behaviors and memories may have you believing that you need to drink or use addictive substances in order to do so. But, that’s simply not the case. You can enjoy your holidays while protecting your sobriety and recovery. And, even take part in all of the traditions and events that you have enjoyed in the past using some helpful tips that can assist you in staying sober. Some tips for staying sober this holiday season can include:
When you think about the holidays, what are the best parts? Reminding yourself what it is about the holidays that doesn’t involve drinking or using drugs can help you feel grateful for the season. One way to do this is to sit down and write out a list of things you’re grateful for about the holidays. This can include things like spending time with loved ones, traveling and getting to experience cooler weather, or even opening presents.
Pay it forward this holiday season and give others of yourself. This can help to take your mind off of cravings and also allow yourself to be grateful for what you have, including your sobriety. Find community centers, churches, or youth programs that conduct gift giveaways, soup kitchens, or provide family Christmas meals and volunteer some of your time.
You’ll likely know which events will serve alcohol or have people attending that may become a trigger for using. During this holiday season, make an effort to stay away from these events and people. It can be challenging to change up your traditions, but the ones that love you won’t judge you for missing out on events that could trigger a relapse. Remember, protecting your sobriety is more important than attending a few parties.
Stress can be a trigger to use during the holidays. So, it can help to attempt to reduce stress as much as possible. Some of the ways you can do this include:
Taking care of your mind and body will allow you to feel more controlled over your thoughts and feelings this holiday season. One way to take care of yourself and gain that control is to continue to practice self-care. Don’t forget to do the things that make you feel more self-confident, whether that may be showering, doing your hair and makeup, or dressing your best. Furthermore, eating healthy meals, getting in some exercise, and sleeping enough (getting to sleep at a decent hour) can also help you feel your best.
Even if you follow all of these tips for staying sober this holiday season, you still may feel like you’re slipping back into old habits and thought patterns. But, that’s ok – as long as you get the help you need to protect your sobriety. If you’re feeling that it’s hard to control yourself and that you’re going to use, reach out to members of your supportive community. Or, talk to the professionals and therapists at Delray Center for Healing.