Tips for Having a Happy and Sober Holiday Season
The holidays can be a challenging time for those in recovery. Between holiday parties and gatherings with family and friends, you could find yourself in a few uncomfortable situations when it comes to alcohol and other substances. Not to mention the added stress that can creep into your life when the holidays come around. There are healthy ways that you can cope with the difficulties that occur during the holidays when in recovery.
Making your sobriety the top priority is a great place to start. If you put your sobriety first you will be doing what is needed to stay sane and sober during the holidays. When everything begins to be a bit too much you can call other sober individuals, get in touch with your sponsor, or attend recovery meetings.
Keep expectations on yourself reasonable. During the holidays we can often try to fit too much into a small amount of time. Don’t go placing unrealistic expectations on yourself when it comes to the holidays. Keep it simple and even if it means saying “no” to some things that you may find too stressful.
Make a change in your attitude. Make it a priority to practice gratitude during the holidays. Sometimes when we get swept up in the holidays our minds can travel to place of what we don’t have or what we wish we had. Instead practice being thankful for the things in life that you do have. These could be small things such as being thankful that you’ve woken up sober and have been given another day. You can also practice the spirit of giving by volunteering at a homeless shelter or elderly care center.
Finally, don’t be afraid to take a timeout during the holidays. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the chaos the holidays can bring, take a step back and relax. This could be as simple as taking time to watch your favorite television show or to go on a long walk. Allow your mind time to fully unwind and to decompress, this way when you return to your to-do list you will find it to be more manageable. Short on time but need a quick pick-me up? Take a break to enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee or listen to your favorite song while accomplishing tasks.
The holidays can be an extremely challenging time for anyone, especially those in recovery, but it doesn’t mean that you should be afraid to enjoy them the best way you can. Taking a new approach to the holiday season will help you to enjoy the holidays while putting your recovery first.