Relapse Prevention – 6 Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays
The holidays can be a particularly stressful time of the year because of all of the parties, expectations and shopping. For a recovering addict, it can be a trying time that can bring up feelings and situations that you don’t normally experience throughout the year. According to the JAMA, recovering addicts have around a 40 to 60 percent relapse rate. The chronic relapsing disease known as addiction is something that presents many challenges, especially during stressful times like the holidays. Staying sober during the holidays can be one by utilizing the relapse prevention strategies learned in recovery and through helpful tips.
Tips on coping with the holidays in recovery will be discussed in this article to help you maintain your sobriety.
One of the best ways of staying sober during the holidays is to prepare for situations and conversation that will likely come up. You can practice with a close friend or family member by role-playing the situation. For example, you could practice what you are going to say to your cousin when he inevitably asks you if you want to go to the basement to smoke a substance. By preparing in such a way, you won’t be caught off guard and have an easier time saying no.
2. Have Support On Hand
If you know that you are going to be under pressure and at risk of relapse during the holidays, have someone available that you can call if you become overwhelmed. In a 12-step program, this would be your sponsor – a person who is there to help you maintain your sobriety when faced with trigger situations. Phoning someone who is supportive of our recovery can assist in coping with the holidays in recovery.
3. Find a Nearby Meeting
Whether you are go to support group meetings or not, it can be a good idea to find a support group near where you will be during the holidays. Dealing with addiction during the holidays is made much easier if you have a place where you can find the kind of support you need in recovery.
Staying sober during the holidays is about using many of the learned techniques of relapse prevention to full effect. Just because the holidays are a time of relaxation it doesn’t mean that you should neglect healthy activities such as exercise. Regular exercise can help to make you more emotionally stable through the natural release of feel-good chemicals.
5. Write Yourself A Letter
It can be easy to lose sight of your recovery goals during the holidays. Staying sober during the holidays can be made easier by reminding yourself of your goals. A great way to do this is to write yourself a letter or note with all of the reasons why you want to remain clean and sober. Carry it with you and read it to yourself when trigger situations occur.
6. Attending Parties
The holidays are a time of celebration. Dealing with addiction during the holidays can often be about carefully choosing which events and parties you attend. By limiting trigger situations such a parties where drugs and alcohol are present, it can help with your sobriety. Don’t be afraid to say no to drugs and alcohol even though the people around you might encourage it. There is more than one way to celebrate.
Maintaining your sobriety during the holidays can be difficult at first, but through these tips and relapse prevention strategies, you can keep to your goals and intent. Call WhiteSands Treatment today on (877) 855-3470 for more information.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.