The holidays are here, and that means a time of joy, celebration and fun times. Right? While this is certainly the case for some, for many others, the holidays aren’t quite so cheery. And, if you’re currently in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction, you could be at increased risk of a relapse during the holidays.
Whether it’s the stress that comes from spending time with family members or a feeling of emptiness after the holidays are over, sticking to your relapse prevention plan is more important than ever. Stay with us for our suggestions on coping with the holidays and maintaining your recovery.
Know Your Triggers and Pay Attention to Them
We’ve talked extensively about understanding and avoiding your addiction relapse triggers . During the holidays, you’ll want to be especially vigilant in steering clear of situations, environments and behaviors that could lead you down the wrong path. Before you get out of bed in the morning, take a few moments to plan your day and identify any potentially high-risk scenarios you could encounter. Are they avoidable? Can you reduce their risk?
Don’t Forget About Your Addiction Support System
We all get busy shopping for gifts and attending holiday gatherings. Factor in snowstorms, chilly temperatures and icy roads that make traveling dangerous, and before you know it, you’ve missed several support group meetings. This is why it’s important to plan ahead before your calendar fills up with other obligations. Planning to travel during the holidays? That’s ok, just make sure to seek out a support group near your destination. And, if the holidays are a difficult time for you, you may even want to attend more meetings than normal.
Watch What You Drink… and Eat
If you’re attending a party where alcohol might be served, make it a point to get your own drinks. And, if you aren’t sure what’s in the punch bowl, don’t be afraid to ask. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with telling people that you’re in recovery, and a good host will have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages for you to choose from.
You should also be careful about what you eat. Many holiday recipes use alcohol for their signature flavors. How much alcohol would it take for you to relapse? It’s impossible to say for sure. So, your best bet is to avoid it completely.
The Raleigh House Wishes You Happy Holidays!
With the proper precautions, recovering addicts can survive and even enjoy the holiday season. Remember, the best thing you can do when coping with the holidays is to give yourself a relapse prevention plan – and stick to it. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, we can help. Learn more about our comprehensive addiction rehabilitation program or call us now to get started.