Most people know that remaining sober during holidays can be tough, especially for those in early recovery. Moreover, when everybody else is seemingly having a great time in parties, family gatherings and other social occasions, it can be difficult to get used to the idea of staying sober throughout the holiday season. For many recovering people, holidays can be a period of sadness and grief, coupled with emotional highs and lows causing bouts of occasional happiness, anxiety, loneliness and sadness.
Those struggling during the holiday season may often link the festive season with memories of problematic relationships, irreparable personal losses, being far from a loved one or any unfortunate event. Unfortunately, such fluctuating moods may trigger relapse for people recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. However, one needn’t panic, as there is hope. The blues can very well be managed, or perhaps, avoided altogether by planning ahead of time.
Tips to ensure a happy and sober holiday season
Whether someone is in recovery or not, a good holiday plan is the key to keep the blues, which threaten holiday experiences, at bay. Taking good care of oneself, ensuring support from others, and discovering innovative and healthy ways to celebrate should be on the top of one’s list. Here are some useful tips that will help you strengthen your sobriety goals during the holiday season:
Setting realistic goals: Setting realistic expectations and hoping for something practical and achievable prevents an emotional letdown. Conflicts are inevitable in life and reunions during holidays may hold the potential to reopen old wounds. But it is important to keep calm and give up any urge to manipulate or change.
Feeling good about getting sober: Constantly reminding oneself of the benefits of being sober can be a daily morale booster. Adding a sticky note on the mirror goes a long way in encouraging positive thoughts in the mind.
Planning activities: Planning activities such as going for a movie with the family or for any sports event rather than simply sitting and chatting certainly helps in eradicating the blues. Physical activities which keep everyone busy and focused should be given priority.
Avoiding negativity: Spending less time with annoying or irritating people saves oneself from significant stress. Similarly, staying away from those who are addicted to drinking helps in embracing sobriety during the holiday season.
Breaking away from routine: Celebrating the season in a unique way by breaking the normal routines, such as lending a helping hand to a favorite charity or helping the elders or the sick to spread some cheer, can be a great experience.
Accepting reality: Releasing resentments during the holidays is vital to staying sober. Making peace with the present and accepting the things that are beyond one’s control can save anyone from a heartache, as well as an imminent threat of relapse.
Getting support: Finding ways to enhancing one’s support system can work wonders to maintain a calm head and a sober mind. Holidays are the best times to pay more visits to therapists, spiritual advisors, as well as support and healing groups. This is an excellent way to learn about one’s true potential.
Embarking on journey to sobriety
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the United States. Drinking during the holiday season is a common phenomenon across the world. But one must remember that abuse of alcohol leads to alcoholism and alcohol addiction. Alcohol withdrawals are potentially life-threatening, therefore, those having such symptoms must undergo a detox therapy under medical supervision.