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Eight Tips for Maintaining Your Sobriety During the Holidays

Woman legs in home interior with fireplace.Woolen socks and jeans.Free space for your decoration.Christmas cold winter night.Copy space.Being sober is a day by day choice. And let’s face it, some days are easier than others to stay the course of recovery. For those in recovery, the holiday season can consist of more difficult days than easy ones. After all, many work, social, and family parties include alcohol. And the holidays may bring up emotional stress and other relapse triggers. Today we are sharing a few ideas to help you stay the course on your road to recovery no matter what time of year.

8 Tips for Maintaining Your Sobriety During the Holidays

  1. Re-visit your goals. Write your goal down each morning and put it somewhere you can see it. Remember to take recovery one day at a time. Also, be patient. Progress takes time, so let yourself move through and experience each day. Keep realistic goals and be mindful of how far you have already come.
  2. Always have an “out” or a back up plan. Before you attend a family function, work party, or holiday get together with friends, think about a back-up plan. This may include stepping out of an event for a crisp walk outside, calling your sponsor, taking time for a quiet meditation, or even excusing yourself early.
  3. Avoid people who you used to use with. This one’s simple. Stay away from the people who don’t support your recovery or old friends that you used to party with. Surround yourself with those who support you and your sobriety.
  4. Don’t skip your meetings. AA, NA, and other support groups are especially helpful during the holidays since you’ll be in a sober place with people who share in they day to day challenges of recovery. Stick to your routine.
  5. Check in with your emotions. While many people feel lonely around the holidays, people in recovery may face more severe anxiety, depression, and/or feelings of isolation. Don’t try to push through it, instead get help. Talk to a friend, loved one, or professional.
  6. Remember that it’s ok to say no. You don’t have to say yes to every holiday function. Trust your gut. If you feel like going somewhere will stir up stress or temptation, stay home and watch a holiday movie, bake cookies, or puzzle. Choose to participate in activities that are helpful not harmful.
  7. Get your zzz’s. Exhaustion can put you at risk of holiday triggers, so sleep well. Aim for at least seven to eight hours each night, so you remain at your best.
  8. Ask for help. If you are feeling overwhelmed this season, there are people who can help you. This could be as simple as sitting and talking with a friend or seeking professional help. Don’t know where to turn? Call the patient support specialists at Horizon at (716) 831-1800.