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Is Recovery Hard Around the Holidays?

 The holiday season for someone who is recovering can be quite challenging because of the activities associated with the holidays, like parties and other social festivities.  This is because many people tend to feel like they are being left out of social events, and this can increase their anxiety levels. The risk of relapse during the festive season is usually very high, but this does not mean altitude recovery is impossible. As much as it is hard to recover during the holiday season, there are things a recovering individual can do to ease the challenges associated with the season.

new year party

Navigating Holiday Challenges in Addiction Recovery

A recovering individual needs first to understand the things that might trigger a relapse. Once the risk factors are identified then it’s up to the individual to find ways of mitigating the risk factors in the best way possible. One of the key risk factors is increased pressure to socialize with people through social events. These social events are characterized by indulgence in substances such as alcohol and other substances, which can be a trigger. Another trigger is stress: financial, emotional, and physical. A high level of financial stress characterizes the holiday season because of the need to travel, make purchases, and other financial obligations. The holiday season is also characterized by emotional stress from reunion, social commitment, and other emotional demands, which can heighten stress and anxiety. There is also physical stress from traveling, and all these forms of stress can lead to someone recovering to look for an escape, and this can lead to a relapse.

holiday meal table setting

Coping Strategies for Maintaining Sobriety Amidst Holiday Stress

To increase the success of one’s recovery, an individual should plan on how to protect their sobriety before the holiday season begins. One way to prepare oneself is to make sure you have a solid support system. This can be in the form of a sponsor or a sober friend who can keep an eye out in case of temptations to relapse. Solid support can offer you an escape plan in case you encounter a tempting situation or have to deal with difficult people. Consider Alcohol Alternatives at Christmas so you’re prepared.

Another way to ease the recovery is to make sure you have clear rules, especially with those close to you. Communicate your boundaries openly and, most importantly, let them know that you are on a recovery road and you would avoid certain triggers.

Finally, you should always prioritize yourself and be aware of what is happening around you. This means putting yourself in what is helpful to you psychologically and emotionally. Self-care is making sure you get enough sleep and rest while at the same time reducing the amount of stress. Listen to what your body is telling you and what it needs. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to escape through abuse of substances. In the case of indulgence, you should be mindful of what you are consuming and focus on healthy alternatives.

Holiday Eggnog Cocktail

Final Thoughts:

Self-discipline and personal reservation will go a long way in making recovery during the holiday a success. Choose the environment and the people who offer support and reduce the triggers that may lead to relapse.

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