The holidays are getting close. It’s the perfect time of year where families come together. This may be the first time you’re spending the holidays with them since your recovery.
You can feel great knowing that you have a second chance at life. You’ll be thankful knowing that you made the right choice to get help when you did. This guide will show you how to avoid addiction triggers and relapse during the holidays.
If you need additional help on relapse prevention, check out what New Waters Recovery offers right here. Now, let’s begin with our list of tips.
Continue following your aftercare plan
You can continue your aftercare plan, whatever that may be. This includes practicing regular mindfulness, exercise, and a healthy diet. It will be a good feeling knowing you are doing everything you can to prevent a relapse from happening during the holidays.
If you need help after hours, you can find resources online. If you have offline resources available 24 hours a day, then you can take advantage of them as well. Do whatever it takes to prevent a relapse from happening during the holidays.
Be selective about get-togethers
The holidays mean so many get-togethers happening to celebrate. A family get-together is one thing. But you may also be invited to others by friends or even a work get-together.
There is a good chance that alcohol may be served. If you are getting over an alcohol addiction, it may be a challenge. The best you can do is say ‘no’ when offered a drink or notice any alcohol nearby.
You may also say ‘no’ to get-togethers that may not apply to family. You can hang out with friends some other time. But they may be understanding of why you said no (assuming they are aware of your recovery process).
Extract yourself, if need be
Family get-togethers can be stressful. The talk about religion, politics, or who knows what else may arise. Not only that, the differences in opinion may also cause heated debates and arguments.
The last thing you need is to deal with the stress surrounding you. It may be enough to where you may need a substance of choice. The best thing you can do is withdraw yourself and head out.
The last thing you want to deal with is a stressful situation, even if you are not part of the debate. Avoiding stressful situations should be the one thing you need to do. If you keep doing this regularly, relapse will be far away than close to you.
Volunteer during the holidays
The holiday season may be difficult for many people. Especially for the less fortunate. You can volunteer at shelters and food banks.
You can feed those who are homeless or put together packages of food that can go to needy families. You’ll feel better knowing that you are doing your part to help others. That good feeling can also keep your chances of relapse lower than ever.
The good news is that the holiday season is the perfect time to volunteer for your favorite charities and causes. Ask around and see if there are any volunteer opportunities in your local community. You may know someone that might be able to help.
Surround yourself with positive people
The more important people in your life are those who make a positive impact. These include your family members, your friends, and even members of your support system. You can be able to talk to them on a regular basis.
If you contact them regularly, you’ll be in a good mood. You’ll feel better knowing that you have people to talk to. Even on days when things don’t seem to be in your favor, you may have a good idea of who to talk to whenever you need to be cheered up.
Check on your other sober friends
You know that you’re not the only one celebrating their first holiday season sober. Most of the sober friends you have met in treatment are also doing the same thing. Check up on them and ask how they are doing.
They will be happy to hear from you. They may also share with you any ups or downs they may be having. It’s also the perfect opportunity to exchange any kind of advice you both may have for one another.
Discuss how grateful you both are that you survived treatment and are able to spend the holidays with important people. Also, make sure they are following their regular schedule for their post-treatment care such as regular therapy sessions and their other aftercare plans.
Make sure your relapse plan is ready
Sometimes, things can get to be too much. It may be time to activate a plan that you have put together to help prevent a relapse from happening before it’s too late. If you relapse, don’t feel ashamed.
At this point, you can put your relapse plan to good use. You will be talking to the right people. You’ll have the right action plan to help you get to where you need to go.
You will bounce back quicker than ever. You’ll be able to look back and find out where you slipped up. It will be a learning process that will help you prevent future relapses.
Relapsing can be avoided for the most part. Sometimes, things can get to a point where it can be difficult.
Avoiding addiction triggers is possible. Especially during the holiday season. These seven tips listed above will help you keep those occurrences at bay.
You’ll feel grateful knowing that people will check on you. You’ll be grateful knowing that you’re alive even during the most important time of the year. You’ll look back and be happy that you made the right decision to get help.
There is no gift greater than a second chance. It’s a gift that is so valuable, you can’t put a price on it.