The holiday season can be a challenging time, especially for those who are new to recovery and a sober lifestyle. Celebration sometimes seems synonymous with spirits, and family get-togethers often result in in-law overload. The additional stress, and ubiquity of alcohol use can present many temptations, which are difficult to resist. However, with the proper planning you can confidently preserve your sobriety, despite the challenges you face. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the holiday season.
Get Your Shopping Out of the Way
The stress of holiday shopping can become overwhelming. Do your shopping early to avoid any unnecessary additional stressors. And don’t stress about the presents you are giving. Set a budget, and stick to it. For the people who truly care about you, your sobriety is a great enough gift!
Plan Your Holiday Season
Have a plan for each day, to keep you occupied and your mind off of the temptations of drinking. A thorough plan does not leave room for boredom and alcohol use. Plan activities that aren’t focused around drinking or using drugs.
Begin New Traditions
Traditions of holiday seasons past may have centred around drinking, but it’s never too late to begin new traditions. If your old tradition was drinking wine around the fireplace at your Christmas Eve party, start a new tradition of making homemade hot cocoa and decorating cookies for tomorrow’s festivities.
Surround Yourself with Friends and Family, and Ask for Support!
Surrounding ourselves with people who love us helps us remember why our sobriety is so important. Spend your holiday season with people who love you and promote your sobriety. Bring a supportive or sober buddy to events which you believe will be challenging to your sobriety.
Remember Your Self-Care Routines
Although the holidays can be overwhelmingly busy, continue to take the time for self-care. Keep your daily routines of exercise and healthy eating, which helped you achieve your sobriety in the first place. Continue to do meditation or yoga, if that’s what helps you stay focused on your goals. Carve out a piece of the busy day to take care of yourself and your sobriety!
Find a Meeting or Plan a Phone Call
The Holiday season is a demanding time of year, which can cause a lot of stress and temptation. Don’t let this get the best of you! In anticipation of these provocations, schedule a virtual or in-person SMART recovery meeting or an over-the-phone therapy session with a Searidge counsellor.
Although the holiday season can be a stressful time, you have the tools to overcome the challenges. Don’t lose sight of the accomplishments you’ve achieved thus far, and continue to strive for a sober and fulfilling life. After all, this is the best holiday gift!