Tips for Managing Holiday Woes
While the holidays are intended to be enjoyable and happy occasions, they can also bring about feelings of anxiety and stress, especially for those who struggle with a mental health disorder. If you are recovering from drug or alcohol abuse, the holidays can also be a very difficult time full of triggers and the urge to use. Knowing how to handle and manage triggers, as well as learning how to deal with stress during the holidays, can help to make for a more enjoyable time.
If you are a recovering addict or just feel intense pressure during holidays, there are a number of coping skills that can be implemented during these various times of year that can help you beat the stress while also managing your cravings.
- Don’t rely on drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism
- Take as much pressure off of yourself as you can
- Reach out to community members for support
- Take time to meditate daily
- Maintain healthy habits such as getting enough sleep and exercise
- Partake in self-care
- Plan ahead – if you know there may be alcohol, bring your own alcohol-free drinks
- Ask for help – if you are hosting family, request that it be a potluck
Little things here and there can add up and help you manage the stress that comes along with festivities.
Handling Festivities as a Recovering Addict
When you are a recovering substance abuser or addict, the holidays can be truly stressful. There are often triggers everywhere you look which could influence you to ‘dabble’. By learning how to manage these triggers you are lessening your chances of succumbing to the often irresistible temptation of using.
If you are at a social gathering and are feeling overwhelmed, it’s important that you step outside and take a breather. Taking a walk, listening to relaxing music, and taking a few moments to yourself can help you compose yourself so that you do not get influenced by what’s happening around you. If you ever feel bouts of anxiety and nervousness due to the scenerio that you are in, it’s always advised that you remove yourself from your surroundings in order to evaluate the situation so that you make rational choices.
Seek Professional Help
It’s important that you seek professional help if you are unsure of how to manage triggers and temptation when you are faced with it. Therapists and counselors can teach you vital coping mechanisms that can help you manage difficult times during the holiday season. Without the ability and mental strength to say ‘no’ to triggers, you run the risk of relapse.
There is help available for those who are committed to their sobriety and want to learn how to manage their holiday stress. These times are supposed to be enjoyable and knowing how to handle certain situations can help you better enjoy these special times.
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.