Staying Sober Over the Holidays
Staying Sober Over The Holidays can be an exciting time of year, but they can also be physically and emotionally draining. This year is especially different as more people are Pouring Themselves into the Holiday Season as a distraction from the pandemic. While this may be helpful to some, it can be stressful for those in substance abuse treatment in Phoenix.
Before starting addiction recovery, you would have most likely indulged in alcohol at this time of year; now that you’re trying to change your life, you realize this is no longer an option. So how can you stay sober, embrace the holidays, and make the most of 2020? Below are 10 of our most helpful, practical tips for staying drug- and alcohol-free over the holidays.
Make your sobriety a priority.
First and foremost, you must enter the holiday season knowing that your sobriety is your priority. Whether you’ve been in Outpatient Rehab in Phoenix for a few months or have a long-term recovery, you don’t want all of your hard work to be compromised in one night.
The holidays do present some unique challenges, but planning ahead, practicing good self-care, and making smart choices will help protect your recovery and resist the temptation to relapse. Put it in your mind that you will do what is best for your sobriety – not what others want you to do.
Make sure your basic needs are met.
To make the best decisions for yourself, it’s important that your basic needs are met. If something essential is lacking, it can cause you to make a poor decision and put your sobriety in jeopardy. We Recommend Following HALT – an acronym for the following:
- Hunger. Make it a point to eat regularly. Skipping meals can affect blood sugar, which can affect your mood. Choose nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Anger. The holidays will likely add stress to your routine. Be sure to manage your stress levels by practicing meditation, yoga, and exercise.
- Lonely. Some people in recovery feel lonely over the holidays. Keep in contact with your sober friends, attend a 12-step meeting, or meet virtually with your therapist.
- Tired. Don’t let the holidays run you ragged. You need a good 7-9 hours of restorative sleep every night.
Stick to a routine and plan ahead for events and gatherings.
In alcohol rehab in Phoenix, you learned the importance of maintaining a healthy routine. The holidays often come with some changes to normal routines, but try to stick to your same schedule as much as possible. This includes eating meals and waking up and going to bed at the same time. Sticking to your normal routine keeps you mentally and physically resilient.
Create and introduce new traditions.
It’s likely that there are holiday traditions you won’t be able to participate in anymore. Instead of dwelling on this, create new traditions that do not revolve around drugs and alcohol.
This year is the Best Time to Start New Traditions because we’re living through a pandemic. People will understand if you want to create your own customs. As you get used to celebrating the holidays in new ways, you won’t associate them as much with drinking or using drugs.
Bring recovery materials along when you travel.
If you’ll be traveling for the holidays, don’t let your guard down. Bring along recovery materials to keep you focused on your sobriety such as your favorite recovery books or spiritual podcasts. Thanks to technology, it’s easy to have all of your best materials within arm’s reach. We also recommend looking up local 12-step groups in case you need them.
Don’t go it alone. Bring along a sober friend.
Avoid putting yourself in positions where you feel alone. Bring along a trusted friend or family member if you go out. Or have a list of contacts that you can call in a pinch. It’s best not to attend parties or events where alcohol will be served, but sometimes, you can’t help what happens. This is why it’s helpful to have someone with you to hold you accountable.
Have an escape plan that you’re comfortable with.
You can’t control what other people do, so it’s important to Have an Escape Plan That You’re Comfortable With. This way, if you don’t feel comfortable, you can follow your exit plan.
Your exit strategy can be as simple as calling a trusted family member to pick you up. Making smart decisions from the get-go will help you avoid uncomfortable situations. But you should still be prepared for what could happen.
Help others by volunteering your time and talents.
Many people in outpatient treatment in Phoenix need to keep busy over the holidays so they aren’t tempted to drink. A great way to do this is by putting your time and talents to good use. Offer to host the holidays. Donate your time to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Help a loved one clean and decorate their home. Think about your talents and how they can help others. This will give you a sense of purpose while making a difference in others’ lives.
Seek out recovery support wherever you are.
Whether you’re traveling, visiting family, or hosting the holidays, make sure you have recovery support. Mobile apps make this easy, so Download a Few Recovery Apps to Your Phone. This way, if you are feeling triggered, you can tap into a support network that understands what you’re going through.
Also, keep connected to the members in your 12-step group, recite positive verses daily, and write in your gratitude journal. If conversations get uncomfortable, take a step outdoors to get some fresh air. Support is never far away, but you need to know where to find it.
Keep a positive attitude. It’s what the holidays are about!
Maintain an upbeat, positive attitude throughout the holiday season. It may not come naturally at first, and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. What’s important is that you take a few minutes every day to think of the things you’re grateful for. The more you do this, the more easily a happy attitude will come. The holidays are so much more than drinking and late nights.
Addiction Recovery Support is a Phone Call Away
The holidays are a memorable time of year, but make sure it’s for the right reasons! By following these tips, you can continue with a healthy recovery while enjoying time with your friends and family. If you need additional support, Continuum Recovery Center is Here for You. Contact us today to start or continue your journey. Our outpatient drug rehab in Phoenix is open during the holiday season.