The holidays can be stressful, and for those in recovery it’s a time to be vigilant against relapse. Fountain Centers, a Mayo Clinic Health System program for substance abuse and addiction, offers the following tips to help ensure a clean and sober holiday season.
Common relapse dangers to be aware of:
Being in the presence of drugs or alcohol.
Having alcohol in the house for friends and events.
Being too busy to go to meetings.
Not talking to your sponsor and sober friends.
Too busy to read your daily meditations or communicate with your higher power.
Setting unrealistic goals for the holidays, be it decorating, entertaining or gift-giving.
Feeling overwhelmed, confused, useless or stressed out over planning or unrealistic goals.
Changes in eating, sleeping patterns and energy levels.
Tips to avoid relapse:
Be kind and gentle with yourself; this is an important time for self-care. Meetings, daily readings and communicating with your higher power can all help. Remember to be open and honest with your support people.
Eat healthy, exercise, drink a lot of water and get plenty of sleep. Moderation is key!
Realize it is not as important to have alcohol at functions as you may think it is. If you attend a function that serves alcohol, go with support and always have a way out.
Be grateful for your sobriety and all it has brought back into your life. Keep an attitude of gratitude.
Simplify your life and think about the true meaning of the holidays. Know that one of the best gifts you can give to those you care about, and yourself, is a sober you.
Volunteer to help at schools, churches, community groups, humane shelter, or rest homes. Know that your time and talents are great gifts.
Live in the moment and be aware of all the miracles this day has to offer. Smile.
Even if you are not in recovery, it's important to be safe with your consumption of alcohol: