While the holiday season may be the best time of the year for most people, it’s the worst time of the year for many past or recovering addicts. So many people who can claim sobriety consider it to be a lonely experience, especially when the holidays come around. Even being around family and loved ones can’t solve inner happiness sometimes, but it’s during these times when happiness can make or break a relapse. Becoming and staying happy while you’re sober or in recovery is the key if you want to stay sober during the holiday season.
Here are our top tips to stay sober during the holiday season:
1. Steer Away From the Hostility
Sure, the holiday season may be an amazing and beautiful time of the year where people get together from all across the world. But, there are always friends or relatives who simply grind your gears. That could be the aunt who reeks of alcohol and cigarettes, or the friend who’s loud and obnoxious at gatherings. Despite who the annoying person is, you should try to stay away from these people. If you’re becoming annoyed with someone, anyone, attempt to steer away from them and occupy yourself with someone you actually like this time of the year. To stay sober during the holiday season at gatherings and parties, avoid those gut-wrenching people who can put you in a frustrated or annoyed mood.
2. Know Why You’re Sober
Think about it, what made you get sober in the first place? Maybe if was your spouse who encouraged your sobriety, or maybe your job didn’t allow it. No matter what the reason is, you should always have it in the back of your mind. And at the end of the day, you should be sober because you want to be sober. Things will only get worse if you’re not doing it for yourself, making it feel like more of a job than a decision. If you want to avoid a relapse, remember why you become sober. This will help you stay sober during the holiday season, as to not have to start recovering all over again.
3. Stay Active
For many family and friend gatherings, people will be sitting around and drinking. This isn’t a bad situation, but you’re trying to stay sober. Instead of joining these people, pick a few people with whom you can do outdoor activities with. Even if it’s too cold to go outdoors, consider playing a game or doing an activity that doesn’t involve alcohol or drugs. To stay sober during the holiday season, you should keep yourself active around the people who love you the most. The people who truly love and care about you won’t judge your decision to stay active over sitting around.
4. Avoid Overeating
The holiday season, especially Thanksgiving, bring a lot of food to the table, literally. Of course, you’re going to want to eat, but how much do you eat? Overeating can bring on feelings of guilt and shame, which does not make it easy to stay sober during the holiday season. These feelings can give you more of a reason to relapse or start up you’re addiction again. If you’re suffering form a food addiction, be sure to have support around you to avoid unwanted feelings or relapses.
5. Know Your Escape
As a person who is sober, you should always have an escape route. Whether that be a physical or mental route, you should have it memorized. When the people at the gathering you’re attending start offering you drinks or drugs, you may get triggered to use again or relapse. Many times this can cause a mental breakdown due to a tough decision having to be made, so to avoid this situation entirely be sure to have an escape plan.