‘Tis the season – for holiday feasts, gift giving, family time, and for some, hard partying. If you used to “celebrate” the holidays by getting loaded, or if you have friends and family that still do, the holiday season can be a challenging time for people in recovery. But whether you’re fresh out of rehab or an old-timer, it’s possible to stay clean and sober all the way through New Year’s and beyond. Check out some of our relapse prevention tips for the holiday season.
- Have a plan.
Talk with your sponsor or other fellowship friends before the holidays arrive to figure out what you’re going to do. Be honest about any challenges you might be facing, and make a plan for how you’re going to approach them. For example, if your friends invite you to their annual Thanksgiving Eve bar crawl, what are you going to do? It’s easier to plan ahead than to take a chance and make a decision under the pressure of the moment.
- Stick with your recovery routine.
Don’t take a vacation from your recovery rituals during the holidays. In fact, you need them now more than ever. Keep up with your meetings, commitments, and other habits of recovery to make it through the holiday season stronger than before.
- Create new traditions.
If your holiday traditions have always revolved around drugs and alcohol, create new ones! Host a holiday party for your home group, or go for a hike with friends on New Year’s Day. When you give up your old habits, life doesn’t have to be empty. Build a rich life in recovery.
- Be selfish.
As far as relapse prevention tips go, this one is important to understand: Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing. In recovery, it could save your life. Put yourself first for once, and do what you need to do to protect your recovery. That might mean skipping Thanksgiving at your uncle’s, or staying home on New Year’s. Remember that at the end of the day, hurting someone’s feelings is a small issue when you compare it to putting your life at risk.
If you’re considering treatment for your drug or alcohol addiction, you can skip the temptations of the season altogether by entering residential treatment. Call us today.
Or, if you’re not sure whether it’s time to quit, check our easy quiz here.