While many find joy and excitement in the holiday season, this time of year can present additional challenges for those struggling with addiction — as well as those who are in recovery. Holiday activities can bring extra stress or exposure to activities or individuals that could increase the possibility of a relapse. Here are some things to consider when creating a sobriety plan for the holidays.
Family, Friends and Work
Interactions with friends and family can bring great joy (please follow CDC recommendation when celebrating the holidays with family, friends, and co-workers during the 2020 holiday season) — but they can also add to your stress. Some loved ones are liable to want to talk about your past struggles with addiction, or they might bring up embarrassing incidents from your past. Interacting with a family member who was involved with your use of harmful substances could be even worse. In some cases, it may be best to avoid these individuals entirely.
Responding to Others
You can’t always avoid uncomfortable conversations about your addiction during the holidays. To cope with this, it is best to prepare for such situations well in advance. You could work with a trusted friend or family member to role-play the situations that are likely to come up so they don’t catch you off-guard later. Sometimes, however, your best option will be to spend the holidays with people who are more respectful of your situation.
As part of your action plan, identify a trusted contact person who you can call when you need help dealing with holiday stress. Identify sources of stress and other addiction triggers that could cause problems during the holidays. Work with your contact person to develop healthy coping mechanisms for stress so you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and stay sober.
The holidays can be hard, but you can get through them without losing the progress you’ve made in your recovery journey. If you need help developing an action plan for holiday sobriety, contact the supportive counselors at OneEighty today at 330.264.8498. OneEighty does provide telehealth (counseling provided by phone or video chat).