As we approach the upcoming festive period, families, friends and loved ones will unite and celebrate, leaving any worries and stress they may face in their everyday routine behind for a short period of time.
People across the world will find themselves filled with joy, happiness and warmth and will be left feeling somewhat uplifted as they take part in festive activities and socialise with others. However, for some individuals, the festive period is quite the opposite.
Individuals that are in recovery for drug and alcohol addictions often find the festive period to be a somewhat testing time. They may feel pressured to participate in festive celebrations, which are bound to see them surrounded by triggers, and in many cases, the factors that initially caused their addiction to arise.
They may be filled with dread as they attend family gatherings and may even isolate themselves in bid to maintain their sobriety during the festive period.
If you are recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, and are looking for some tips for maintaining sobriety during the festive period as you potentially come face to face with holiday stress triggers, you have come to the right place.
At Addiction Advocates, we have considered the various holiday stress triggers that may be faced by those in recovery and have outlined our tips for maintaining sobriety during the festive period below.
Talk To Your Loved Ones
If you find yourself increasingly concerned that the stress and pressures that the holiday period is placing on you will compromise your sobriety, talking to your loved ones and expressing your thoughts and feelings is highly recommended.
As you are in recovery, your loved ones will likely already know that stress and various other factors may present as potential triggers.
With this in mind, they will probably want to do everything in their power to support you and help alleviate any holiday stress from your shoulders.
Although you may be hesitant about discussing your feelings with your loved ones as you will not want to dampen their festive spirit, you must do so. Failure to voice your concerns could see you unintentionally isolate yourself, or relapse.
Avoid Triggers That You Know Will Impact Your Sobriety
As your family and friends begin to make plans for the festive period, it is entirely understandable that you will want to take part in as many of the plans as possible. However, you must avoid any triggers that you know will impact your sobriety.
For example, if your friends have arranged a gathering at a local pub, but you are worried that the pressure you may face as you are surrounded by alcohol may cause you to relapse, it may be worth reconsidering your attendance.
Likewise, if your family has arranged a get-together, but you have been informed that a family member or friend that contributed to the rise in your addiction will be in attendance, it may be worth evaluating if the event is worth attending.
Make A Plan of Action
For many, making plans for the festive period is a way to ensure that they can see and spend time with various friends and family members. In many cases, these plans will even dictate the length of time spent with an individual, the food that will be eaten, the drinks and the activities that will be incorporated.
As you completed your rehab treatment, there is a possibility that your relapse prevention and aftercare plan recommended creating schedules to assist you as you returned to everyday life. If so, you will already know just how beneficial a plan of action can be in maintaining sobriety.
As you approach the festive period, making a plan of action is a handy way to avoid holiday stress triggers. When considering a plan of action for the festive period, it may be worth factoring in the following;
• The amount of time that you will spend with your loved ones
• The time that you will return home each evening if you are attending family gatherings
• What you will eat and drink if you are attending gatherings with friends and family members
• How you will make time for yourself to decompose and alleviate any stress you encounter
• Steps that you will take if you experience any holiday stress triggers
While making a plan of action may leave you feeling as though you are limiting yourself, a plan will give you the best chance of maintaining sobriety during the festive period.
Attend Recovery Groups
While you may not realise it, there are other individuals in recovery that face a wealth of holiday stress triggers throughout the festive period. As a result, recovery groups will continue to operate to ensure that those in need can receive support to help them manage and navigate any stress.
Although you may already frequently attend recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, attending supplementary groups is likely to help you mitigate the holiday stress you feel. In turn, you will find that you can relax and enjoy the festive celebrations with your friends and family.
You will also be left feeling somewhat confident that you can participate in celebrations without worrying that your sobriety will be compromised.
Talk To Your Recovery Team
If you have attempted to take advantage of the tips that we have provided, yet still find yourself struggling with holiday stress, please do not be afraid to reach out to your recovery team.
They will be on hand to discuss the factors that are causing you to feel stressed and overwhelmed and will help you find additional ways to alleviate any pessimistic thoughts and feelings to ensure that you maintain your sobriety.
Contact Addiction Advocates Today
Although we hope that our tips for maintaining sobriety during the festive period as you potentially come face to face with holiday stress triggers will provide you with the support you need this festive period, please do not hesitate to contact us should you find yourself struggling with holiday stress triggers.