Five tips to keep the holidays from ruining your Recovery, or your use from ruining the holidays. Many people dealing with substance use disorder, historically referred to as Alcoholism and Addiction, find the holiday season extremely difficult, often causing isolation and loneliness, which can lead to relapse. Some people not yet in recovery are interested in controlling use to avoid “ruining” the holidays with family fights and belligerence. If either of these issues are of interest to you, there might be help in utilizing a few healthy recovery techniques to step-up-your-game during the holiday season.
1. Have a Plan – Although there are no specific requirements for a plan, and individual plans vary greatly, the benefit of being prepared mentally can help avoid impulsivity and help make healthy decisions. Some things to consider: What days do I have off? Where am I spending the holidays? Who might be drinking? Bring my own none alcoholic beverages! Who is driving?
2. Meetings – Utilizing self-help support and/or the 12-step programs can increase strength and hope during the holiday season. Also a fellowship of like minded people searching for a common solution can share face-to-face gifts of hope.
3. Telephone – Many people call, text or email others in recovery, sharing one-on-one to help with the hard to handle highs and lows.
4. Reading/Writing – Having an outlet for one’s internal thoughts and being able to put ideas down on paper and finding solutions through the literature of recovery can further reinforce how to live through the 12-step or other spiritual programs of recovery.
5. Service – The holiday season is a perfect time to help others. Doing service and reaching out to others is a great way to add to the quality of one’s own recovery. There are many ways to give back for what we have so generously been given.
As a friendly reminder, many of the local spiritual and 12-step programs increase their availability during the holiday season. If you are concerned about the problems that might arise during the holiday season do not hesitate to reach out and find additional support.
A sober holiday is a happy holiday.
The PRC Blog
Here, the PRC staff teams up to provide our views and advice on common mental health issues.