Have a Happy Holiday Season 

Let’s face it, it’s a stressful time of year for everyone. Between the gift-giving, travel, work, and keeping together the modern family unit it’s easy for anyone to find themselves driven towards the nearest coping mechanism. For the recovering addicts/alcoholics or someone in active addiction the holidays can be a quick way for relapse and/or make for a very embarrassing holiday function. I’ve put together a few helpful tips to help get you through the holiday season.

Tips: Holidays and Sobriety

Be Prepared: You know your family and you know the potential issues that might arise. If you know your family is going to reminisce about past situations that trigger you, be ready to have a response. If you have a significant other or friend in recovery, maybe do a roll play prior to entering the family function. Come up with responses ahead of time. Think of what you will be asked. Pick a simple response to use when offered alcohol. Remember, you are not obligated to discuss any aspect of your recovery you are not comfortable discussing.  

Create New Traditions: Out with the old and in with the new! If your Christmas involved sitting around the fire drinking a festive winter cocktail or drinking Eggnog while watching the Christmas Parade- it’s time to switch it up. Maybe marshmallows with hot chocolate and a holiday movie would be a good change of pace? Do you have a favorite board game you could play? Have you ever gone to an ice skating rink? Possibilities are endless, find what works best for you.

Recognize Triggers: Know your triggers before the event. The most common triggers correspond with the acronym HALT – Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. Be aware of how you feel mentally and physically. Make sure you take care of yourself to help ward off these triggers. They may pop up even with all the preparation in the world. Be rational about cravings, they may only last a few minutes but this too shall pass. There are healthy ways to cope with these feelings, here are a few ideas:

  • Spend at least 5 minutes meditating or deep breathing
  • Find a meeting in the area that you can attend, AA/NA meetings are everywhere
  • Go for a walk or take a quick job around the neighborhood
  • Do a self-care activity such as watching a funny movie or taking a hot bath

The holiday season might feel uncomfortable but allow yourself to feel every feeling. Whether it’s good or bad. Your emotions are valid, don’t ignore them. Remember, it’s important for recovery. There are no wrong feelings and you can make it through even the toughest times sober.

Are you looking to overcome alcohol and substance abuse? Pax House is a facility providing a calm environment for detoxification, drug rehab, and aftercare planning. We’re located in the foothills of Altadena, and we take pride in having highly-trained, licensed, certified and compassionate clinicians and staff members. All our treatment services are tailored to the needs of every client. For more information, call us at (877)–789-5592. 


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