Congratulations! This may be your first sober holiday in a while. You can usher in the season with a sense of pride and hope for the future. However, holidays always come with challenges. Triggers and temptations will be everywhere, as you associate certain people, places, or situations with drinking or taking drugs.
Now is the time to ask yourself how you will enter into the holiday with a new mindset and a determination to stay clean. You’ve learned a lot in rehab. Now it’s time to put your knowledge and new skills to work. Below are some ways that you can have a sober holiday and make positive memories that will last.
Rally Your Support System
You’ve made a lot of connections during your recovery. Your therapist, treatment center, support groups, friends, and family have stood by your side and witnessed your growth. You may need them during the holidays. Therefore, rally your support system and find out who you can reach out to when things get tough.
If you are traveling this season, then find support groups or 12-step programs in your destination area. The great thing about support groups is that they meet everywhere. Find a group and make plans to attend a meeting. Reach out to your alumni mentor and ask for encouragement from your family. Create a system of accountability to ensure that you stay on track and don’t have a slip up that ruins your holiday season.
Know Your Triggers in Advance
You have built-in external and internal triggers – things that make you want to drink. Identify them as they relate to the holidays. What people, places, or things do you need to avoid? What negativity tends to override your thinking between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve? What parties or events will you not be attending this year?
Know your triggers in advance and set limits to eliminate them. Don’t accept an invite if it means that you are putting yourself in a compromising position. Know when to walk out of a situation. Also, don’t put your sobriety in someone else’s hands. Use what you learned in life skills training to manage your day and your activities.
Stay Healthy During the Holidays
The key to a sober holiday is staying mentally and physically healthy. Try to spend time with positive people. Naturally, you’ll want to splurge a little on food. But don’t sabotage yourself by gaining five to ten pounds. Try to stay on an exercise plan. You may also want to look for opportunities to serve in the community or even at home.
When your mind and body are in good shape, you are less likely to relapse, therefore having a successful and enjoyable sober holiday. Part of staying in good shape may also mean that you need to spend less time around certain people. Some friends or family can stress you out during the holidays. They may not know that they are a potential trigger. So, minimize how much time you will be around them.
Forget About Last Year
Your binge drinking may have caused some issues in the past, but that shouldn’t continue to dull your bright future. You’re no longer that person, and you don’t identify with that behavior any longer. You have a chance to redefine the season and create positive memories for your family and friends.
A sober holiday is more than just not drinking anymore. It’s about bringing healing into every aspect of your life. You now see things with more clarity. So, spread some holiday cheer and make it a point to have fun.
Sober Holiday: Enjoy Your Sober Holiday and a Bright Future
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, then you can get help. Victory Bay offers treatment for addiction to alcohol and drugs. To find out more, call us at 855.259.1624. We can help you get on the path to recovery.