Holiday celebrations can be wonderful opportunities to reconnect with family members that you have not seen for many months. Full of joy, cheer, gratitude and delicious food, these get togethers can also be stressful and very triggering for someone in recovery from drugs and alcohol. Family stressors can create a lot of uncomfortable tension, such as opinions and criticisms too openly shared in regards to your personal life or particularly obnoxious relatives. Turning to alcohol to dull the edge of these inquiries, separate yourself from being fully present and involved with your family, not only takes away from the celebration but can contribute to dangerous situations: statistics reveal annual increases during the holiday season for traffic accidents and violent incidents, the majority of which are fostered by excessive alcohol consumption. Holidays can be difficult but do not have to be a reason to relapse.
Here are some tips for maintaining your sobriety through the Holidays:
- Bring your own non-alcoholic refreshment and keep your glass filled with it. Your well-meaning family will be less likely to push you to have something more potent.
- Prepare a simple response or two to use when pushy relatives ask you why you are not drinking. Stay polite but firm when you tell them you’re not drinking.
- Do not allow yourself to get hungry. Sustaining your hunger by keeping yourself fed will help you better manage your energy and your mood.
- Stay connected. Do not hesitate to call your support team if you feel the pressure or desire to drink is becoming too great.
- Be of service. Others are likely experiencing the same stresses as you are, even if they aren’t an alcoholic in recovery. Taking opportunities to be of service will keep your sobriety a priority.
- Do not be afraid to leave a celebration, or to decline invitations. Staying away from the people you love can be hard during the holidays, but if you feel it is necessary feel strong in your decision.
- Establish new Holiday traditions that do not include alcohol. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, or visit people in hospitals or nursing homes.
If you are concerned about getting or staying sober this holiday season, we can help. Please contact the staff and counselors at The Last Resort at 877-892-7997.
We all wish you a happy and healthy Holiday season!