UNITED STATES—It’s easy to give in to the partying pressure over the holidays. And, alcohol and drugs are part of most parties during the holidays. This makes staying sober a challenge for most people especially those trying to beat their dependence on addictive substances.
The festive season comprises many holidays including Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, New Year’s, and Kwanzaa. This is the time to have quality moments and catch up with friends and family. But, these moments are sometimes uncomfortable and awkward for individuals that have been undergoing addiction treatment.
When meeting loved ones over the holidays, some individuals feel uncomfortable when asked how they have been, where they have been, and their upcoming year’s plans. The experience is made more challenging by the presence of people that use the substances whose addiction a person could be fighting. Therefore, a person has to avoid using these substances to avoid relapse and can call addiction hotline anonymous for help after the holidays.
Nevertheless, it’s still possible to stay sober over the holidays. You just need tips to help and guide you through the season. Here are some of the useful tips for staying sober over the holidays.
Prepare for Uncomfortable Conversations
Like mentioned, you will be asked about your past and what you’ve been up to by the people you meet over the holidays. Therefore, prepare for such conversations to avoid being caught off guard or ending up in awkward situations. If you feel uncomfortable about sharing details of your life, don’t feel pressured to do so. Nevertheless, bear in mind the fact that sharing your progress and story with other people can be a crucial component of recovery and personal growth. But, it’s still okay to feel like you’re not yet at this point. That’s why you need to plan for uncomfortable conversations.
For instance, you can opt to be vague. In that case, come up with an action plan and practice what to say. Practicing can decrease anxiety. If you’ve already called a drug addiction hotline and undergoing treatment, talk to your peers or case manager. These can help you practice the conversations you intend to have over the holidays.
Some people relapse during the holidays trying to cope with the anxiety or stress they experience in different social situations. Therefore, preparing for these situations can help you prevent relapse.
Establish a Support System
Identify and attend meetings that help people stay sober during the holidays. For instance, Alcoholics Anonymous provides information about meetings for recovering addicts on its website. Such information can help you identify the meetings to attend anywhere you go.
So, whether you’re traveling over the holidays or staying at home, attend such meetings to exchange ideas. Other people attending these meetings can help and support you overcome the challenges you face over the holidays.
The most important thing is to identify and plan to attend these meetings. In addition to attending such meetings, prioritize healthy activities like seeing friends that you don’t consider bad influence, spending time in the gym, relaxing, and talking to your sponsor. Such activities should be part of the support system that will help you stay sober over the holiday.
Calling a drug hotline number is a good way to get the information you need to beat addiction and lead a sober life. However, this action alone is not enough. You have to put more deliberate efforts towards choosing what to do and what to avoid.
For instance, being on holiday doesn’t mean you must see every family member or friend. You need to come up with a list of the people to see and those not see. Don’t feel bad just because you didn’t visit a person that is likely to influence you to drink or use an addictive substance.
Bear in mind the fact that you will receive texts and calls from many people telling you how they’ve missed you. This is the reason to set boundaries. Your recovery should come first. Spending time with family and friends over the holiday should come second.
A great way to avoid feeling bad for not seeing some people over the holiday is setting a day when you give family and friends an open invitation. That way, you avoid feeling like you didn’t put in some effort to see everyone.
Get Adequate Rest
Research has shown that sleep disturbance is a common factor among individuals that are recovering from drug abuse. It can also precipitate relapse. When stressed or faced with stressful situations, some people drink alcohol or abuse addictive substances.
Getting adequate and healthy rest is one of the most effective ways of combating stress. When resting, the brain rejuvenates and repairs. Whenever a person goes through a stressful situation, their mind needs time to rest and recover. Once the mind is given time to rest and recover, its ability to overcome stressful situations in the future improves. To understand the way this works, compare it with a physical workout.
The body needs to be pushed mentally and physically sometimes. But, without resting, the body won’t recover. When you visit home over the holidays, you will face the pressure to keep going. That’s why you should pause and take some time to rest. This is particularly crucial if you feel overwhelmed.
Stress impairs judgment. When combined with the lack of quality rest, your judgment will be exponentially impaired. This can lead to relapse and the need to call rehab after the holidays. Therefore, take time to pamper yourself even if it means stepping away from friends and family for a while.
Don’t feel like you’re doing something wrong if you step away for an afternoon nap. Resting will allow your body and mind to repair and rejuvenate. And this has numerous benefits in the long run.
The Final Thought
The holiday season is the time to catch up with loved ones, have fun, and relax. However, you should embrace healthy behaviors and focus on building on your progress in terms of your recovery. That way, you avoid the need to call a drug helpline seeking assistance during and after the holiday. Nevertheless, focus on being safe, having fun, and getting into the New Year stronger and wiser than before.