When you’re in recovery, the holidays can be hard. Jam-packed schedules create extra stress. Tense encounters with extended family wear on your resolve. Friends pressure you imbibe at social gatherings where alcohol tends to flow.
Supporting your recovery this time of year is important. First Step Recovery staff share these tips from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
- Have sober strategies in place. This can include attending events with a sober friend or sponsor, making sure you have your own transportation so you can leave when you need to, and going to a 12-step meeting or calling someone in recovery before or after an event.
- Adjust your attitude. Be aware of your expectations for the holidays. Talk to a counselor or a someone who understands what you’re feeling. Realize some people in recovery are vulnerable to a relapse after the holidays.
- Be of service. Share your gratitude and joy with others by volunteering or simply being a good neighbor.
- Be mindful of your drinks. Keep a beverage in your hand so people don’t constantly offer you something to drink. Watch how your beverage is made to ensure it is non-alcoholic. If you accidentally swallow some alcohol, this doesn’t mean you will relapse.
- Avoid known risks. You don’t have to “power through” uncomfortable or triggering situations. Put your recovery first. Decline invitations to events you know will challenge your recovery. Avoid people who may sway you from the course.
- Practice self-care. Take time for yourself. Ensure you’re getting proper nutrition, exercise, sleep and spiritual nourishment.
- Consider going to treatment. The holidays can be an ideal opportunity to start a recovery program. It might be the best gift you could give your family, friends, and yourself.
To learn more about First Step Recovery’s outpatient treatment options, visit the First Step webpage or call 701-451-4900.