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A Healthy Approach to Memorial Day Weekend While in Recovery

A man grills outside for his extended family at a get-together.
Family get-togethers can be stressful, which is why you need a plan.

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Holidays can present a unique challenge, no matter how you spend them. If you get together with family and friends, there could be issues. But if you spend the holidays alone, you might find yourself feeling lonely.

So how do you survive a get together like Memorial Day, when there’s a good chance other people will be indulging?

Just like the rest of your recovery, there is no one magical solution. Rather, it’s a question of doing your homework and preparing yourself for the challenge ahead—both physically and mentally.

Make a Plan

The last thing you want to do is to stroll into a party or get-together without a plan. Your plan could be to stay for dinner and then go catch a movie with a friend. Or it could be to keep yourself busy playing with your nieces and nephews—and avoid the drinking crowd.

The point is that you need to strategize how you think your day may go and have a plan. Even more importantly, you need to have an escape plan, especially if you’re early in recovery. Your number one priority at this point is staying sober; not making your relatives happy by hanging out for a six-hour party.

Know Your Triggers

Does a particular aunt always make you feel inferior? Does small talk stress you out? Is your mother always comparing you to your siblings? Whatever your particular triggers are, it’s important that you consider them before you head out—and then make sure to be on the lookout for them. Also be sure to remember the acronym HALT, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired.

Control Stress

Stress is a common reason that people turn to drugs or alcohol. It’s a quick way to unwind and relax. The problem is, it can also be a deadly way to deal with stress. Instead, take a few moments to decompress. For some people, that’s five minutes alone in a room. For others, it’s meditating, prayer or yoga. Find out what it takes to make you feel mellow again, then give yourself the time and space to make it happen.

Realize that Cravings Will Pass

Cravings don’t last forever. In the meantime, it’s important to learn to manage them. One way to do so is to practice what’s called urge surfing. Basically, you’re trying to view your craving as a wave that will pass. Then, rather than fight it, the goal is to learn to ride the wave. Here’s more info on urge surfing, which is actually easier than it sounds.

Hope and Healing at The Raleigh House

At The Raleigh House, we take a whole-person approach to recovery. That means we don’t just get the alcohol out of your system. We work with you to help you recover psychologically, mentally, spiritually and socially, as well. Rehab isn’t just about giving something up; it’s about getting your life back. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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