How to Deal with Addiction and the Holidays
The holidays can be difficult when you are recovering from a substance abuse disorder. Dealing with addiction and the holidays can become overwhelming for some people and lead to relapse. Take the time to learn more about why the holidays can be difficult for you, what you can do, and how to equip yourself better to get through the holiday season.
Why Are The Holidays Difficult for Addicts?
The holidays are meant as a time of celebration, enjoying holiday treats, exchanging gifts, decorating, and holiday events and parties. Unfortunately, many holiday celebrations also include access to alcohol and different substances.
Giving in and taking a sip of alcohol or indulging in just a hit of an illicit substance may seem like it can bring much-needed stress relief, it can have serious consequences on your recovery efforts.
What Are Some Common Holiday Triggers?
A crucial part of managing addiction and the holidays is identifying your holiday triggers. Of course, each person can have unique holiday triggers. Keeping that in mind, here are some of the more common holiday triggers recovering addicts could face:
Dealing with tensions between family members.
If there is unresolved conflict between relatives, it can increase your stress and anxiety levels. The last thing you want is to find yourself caught in between a conflicting situation. In some cases, the conflict could be the result of your substance abuse problem.
Feel like you are overextended.
It is easy to get caught up in all the holiday fanfare of having to decorate, purchase and wrap gifts, make cookies and treats, bring a dish to pass at holiday gatherings, and attend holiday parties. Trying to take on too much too soon can make you feel overextended, tired, and run down. When you are, you may find your carvings are becoming more intense.
Feeling left out and alone.
Another common holiday trigger is when your family is still unwilling to reconcile your substance abuse and invite you to attend holiday gatherings. Being shunned can be difficult, primarily when you enjoy celebrating as a family.
When you feel isolated and alone, it can trigger feelings of sadness and depression. Even if you are relieved you do not have to worry about attending family events, being alone can lead to boredom, making it easier to want to indulge in your favorite substances since no one is around.
Having to be around people who encourage your drinking and drug use.
You could find yourself running into people you used to hang out with and drank or used drugs. They may seem warm and welcoming. However, being around them could make it challenging to remain sober.
How Can I Deal With My Triggers This Holiday Season?
The best thing you can do is make a list of the triggers you are aware of that could make it difficult to remain sober. Then, take the time to write down what you will do if you start to experience that trigger, such as calling your sponsor, going to a meeting, and so on.
Next, talk to your peers about being peer support buddies during the holidays. Exchange phone numbers if you do not already have them. Then, if you or one of your peers starts to feel overwhelmed, they will have someone they can call that understands the struggles they are facing.
In addition, it is worthwhile to create goals on how you intend to stay sober this holiday season. Having a list of goals you can refer to will help keep you focused on your sobriety.
What Else Can I Do to Prepare for the Holidays?
Most importantly, do not be afraid to limit your holiday activities. It is acceptable to decline invitations to holiday gatherings and parties where you know alcohol or drugs will be accessible. By taking the time to not put yourself into situations where substances are available, you will have one less thing to worry about.
You could even consider hosting your own sober holiday party. You could invite some of your closest peers, friends, and family who understand the importance of your sobriety during the holidays. Do not forget to put your coping skills to good use during the holidays, like practicing meditation daily to help you remain focused. Remember to eat healthy meals and exercise too. In addition, do not skip group meetings, individual counseling, and other obligations that are part of your aftercare recovery plan.
What Holiday Treatment Options Are Available for Recovering Addicts?
If you feel like your cravings are becoming too intense, or stress and anxiety levels are getting too out of hand, reach out for help. You could even check yourself into a sober living home to get through the holiday season sober and avoid a relapse.
Addiction Recovery Support During the Holidays in Beverly Hills, CA
When you need added help to manage your addiction and get through the holidays, MD Home Deetox in Beverly Hills, CA, offers concierge-level treatment plans and options. Our extensive network allows us to work with you to find the support you need to maintain your sobriety.
In the event you do relapse, we can also assist you with relapse recovery treatment to get you back on the path to sobriety. For further information about sour addiction recovery support options during the holidays, please feel free to contact us at 1 (888) 592-8541 today!