The holiday season can be a stressful time, especially if your goal is staying sober. Let us help you stay sober, safe, merry, and bright with these tips.
Before the holiday season kicks off, you need to take an honest look at the upcoming events and whether it’s healthy and safe for you to attend. Sometimes, family members can be insensitive and expose you to triggers. This can be stressful, so it’s important to be realistic and honest with yourself about what you can and cannot manage during this time. If you feel uncomfortable about a family get-together, that’s enough. It’s not disloyal to have these feelings. You are simply putting yourself first, and that is always a good enough reason to politely bow out of an event.
Plan, Plan, Plan
If you find some holiday events you want to attend, that’s great! Make sure you plan a strategy to ensure a successful time. This could include:
- Making sure you have transportation to and from the events. It might be best to bring your own vehicle so you can leave if triggers become too difficult to manage.
- Grabbing some soda or juice to sip on at an event so people are less likely to offer you an alcoholic drink.
- Creating elevator pitches on how you will answer questions or refuse alcohol and/or other substances.
- Finding a sober friend to attend events with you.
- Having an exit strategy so you can leave when you feel is right.
And remember, if you feel uneasy about attending an event, it’s okay to skip it.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
The holiday season is a hard time of year. But it can be especially hard for those in addiction recovery. Many people ring in the holiday season by drinking to excess, overeating, and engaging in recreational drug use. It can feel impossible to go anywhere without encountering temptations, triggers, and other challenges.
The only thing you have to focus on, though, is your sobriety. So, put yourself first and set and maintain firm boundaries. You got this!
Create New Traditions
At any point, you have the option of changing your holiday celebrations to suit your new lifestyle. So this year, start some new traditions. You could make cookies instead of serving your Grandpa’s famous eggnog. You could have Christmas at home instead of with family who might try and push your boundaries. Or, you could host a sober holiday party (ugly holiday sweater party, anyone?) where you can create your own traditions. The bottom line: redefine your own fun for the holidays.
Whether you struggle with isolation, can get hyper-focused on your sobriety, or just want a new activity this holiday season, serving your community is a great way to help those around you while you stay sober. There are plenty of options out there to suit you. You could work at a local soup kitchen, help walk and take care of animals at your local shelter, or even just prepare meals or cookies for your loved ones. Volunteering can be incredibly rewarding. But probably most importantly, it takes focus off you, gives you something to get out and do, and allows you to apply your skills to someone or something in a purely positive way.
Prioritize Self Care
When we forget to take care of ourselves, we can lose our commitment to stay sober. From the holiday hustle and bustle to the seasonal obligation that comes with the holiday, self-care is key. So, make sure you step back and allow time for personal healing. Take time to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, get good sleep, and stay on top of your exercise routine. Also, include some special, relaxing activities that you aren’t often able to enjoy. This could include a massage, a meditation class, or maybe just some special alone time with yourself and a cup of hot chocolate. If you enter the holiday season feeling good about yourself, you’ll be less likely to succumb to unexpected challenges.
Calvary Ranch is Here for You
We hope you have a safe, sober, and healthy holiday season. If you or a loved one are looking for an addiction recovery facility, we can help get them their life back.
Our Rehab Ranch in Montrose, CO, is a simple place with a simple program that uses biblical principles and a unique live-in program to help men break the power of addictions. Calvary Ranch Colorado is located on a working cattle ranch surrounded by rivers, lakes, trees, and majestic mountain views. Abundant wildlife also shows God’s creation and adds to the tranquility of this place. Check out our What to Expect information to learn more. If there’s one thing you should take away – it’s that our approach works. Start the journey to healing today!