Navigating the Holidays Sober

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Navigating the Holidays Sober

The holidays are typically associated with a time of great celebration. It is a season of spending time with loved ones, indulging in good food, and reflecting back upon the year. For some people, this time of year is also associated with substance misuse. If you are in recovery from addiction, you can expect this year’s holiday season to look a little different from the ones in the past. However, celebrating the holidays sober doesn’t mean that you can’t expect to enjoy the season as much as in the past. Perhaps, you will find more enjoyment this year.

Navigating the holidays sober is best done with a good plan set in place ahead of time and a solid support system to depend upon. This can help ensure that you know exactly what to expect, allowing the greatest possible chance of maintaining your sobriety. 

Creating a Plan for Navigating the Holidays Sober

The holiday season, while fun, can also be a little overwhelming at times. There’s so much going on, and you may feel pressured to keep up with it all. It’s important that while you may be presented with a lot of invitations this year, it’s okay not to say yes to every single one of them. Declining an invitation for the sake of your own mental health is not rude. Plus, making sure that you’re not rushing from one thing to another can help you to be more present in the moment and enjoy the people you’re with.

When making your holiday plans, you’ll want to consider where you’ll be going, what you’ll be doing, and who you’ll be spending your time with. What are you going to do if you find yourself in a situation where you’re experiencing temptations or cravings? You’ll also want to consider how you’ll be fitting into treatment. For example, if you’re going out of town, you might not be able to attend the same meeting you would typically go to. 

In this case, you’ll want to look up support group meetings ahead of time to find one that will be available wherever you’re traveling to. It’s crucial that you avoid skipping meetings if at all possible. If you’re in a pinch, there are typically lots of virtual options to choose from. Attending a meeting or speaking to your therapist before going to a social event can help ensure that you’re in a good space mentally and prepared to avoid any possible temptations. 

Surrounding Yourself With Supportive People When Navigating the Holidays Sober 

Having a strong support system is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of navigating the holidays sober. You’re going to want to be around people who are encouraging and who can build you up. These are people that you can turn to in case you do find yourself struggling mentally or when facing the risk of falling into possible temptations. Your support system can provide you with a listening ear and help remind you of all the reasons you made the decision to get sober in the first place. 

As crucial as it is that you surround yourself with supportive people on your recovery journey, it’s also necessary to avoid the individuals who aren’t so supportive. Some people can be pushy and unwilling to take no for an answer, even after you’ve declined a drink. Don’t be afraid to firmly tell them no and put distance between yourself and them. Remember that maintaining your sobriety is the most important thing. 

Don’t Forget to Practice Self-Care 

As busy as the holiday season is, it’s vital not to forget to practice self-care. This involves doing anything necessary to take care of your mental, physical and emotional health. For example, even if you know your schedule is going to be jam-packed, make sure that you’re still making time for yourself. This includes getting plenty of sleep, eating regular well-balanced meals, and fitting in some sort of exercise every day. 

Self-care doesn’t have to be heavily involved or take a lot of time. Even just 15 minutes of time to yourself each day can make a major difference. Sometimes, self-care could just involve taking a break from the hustle and bustle and sitting alone in the quiet. It could also just be asking for help from someone else if you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything going on. 

Other good tips for self-care include: 

  • Reading a chapter of a book
  • Doing some journaling 
  • Taking a break from your phone 
  • Practicing yoga or some other form of meditation 
  • Listening to calming music 
  • Watching an episode of your favorite show
  • Taking a nap 
  • Spending some time out in nature 
  • Taking a walk around the block 
  • Spending some quality, one-on-one time with a loved one 

All of these examples can allow you to rest, recharge, and better enjoy the holiday season. 

Will this be your first Christmas in recovery? If so, you know that this holiday season will look a little different from those in the past. This doesn’t mean you can’t still have lots of fun and enjoy yourself. It’s important you have a plan so that you know what to expect and that you are sure to surround yourself with positive people. No matter how busy you are, make sure that you remember to fit in some form of self-care and take time for yourself. If you are struggling with substance use disorder, our team at The Kimberly Center can help. Call (855) 452-3683 today to learn more. 

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