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Navigating Sobriety During the Holiday Season

Getting through the holidays can be a challenge. Mixing sobriety and the holidays can be even more challenging. The thing about the holidays is that it’s not just those of us in recovery who struggle during the holidays.  We aren’t unique in that regard.  However, we have a bag full of tools that we can use to help us get through the holidays with our sobriety intact.  If you feel like your toolkit needs a refill or a refresh, Evolve Indy is here to help. 

Is Relapse More Common Around the Holidays?

Navigating Sobriety During the Holiday Season

While relapse does occur more frequently around the holidays, it doesn’t have to happen. Sobriety and the holidays don’t always mix well because there is an increase in our stress. You may find yourself trying to please others by going to holiday parties and purchasing gifts you can’t quite afford. Your regular routine may be changed entirely due to time off, travel, and additional responsibilities. Family gatherings may be filled with lifelong resentments, haunting memories, and dysfunction. As if that weren’t enough, you might also find yourself at holiday gatherings where the alcohol is flowing. While it may feel like drinking and partying is more normalized around the holidays, we have to remember that sobriety and holidays are our new normal. 

Ways to Practice Sobriety Around the Holidays

Navigating Sobriety During the Holiday Season

Possibly the two most vital actions you can take around the holidays are planning and communication.  It’s nearly impossible to get through the holidays without feeling triggered, so you need to have a plan for what you will do when it happens. No matter how long you have been sober, you likely know or have started to learn what helps to keep you centered.  Make a list of those things, including taking a walk, making a gratitude list, going to another room to meditate for two minutes, going to the bathroom just to be alone, or calling a friend. Keep your list with you and, when you feel triggered, start doing the things on the list. And, if all of the stuff on the list isn’t working, activate your exit plan.  When it comes to a choice between remaining at a holiday gathering and staying sober, choose sobriety.

As you make your plan, you’ll also want to communicate.  Maybe you are in early sobriety and don’t feel ready to announce your sobriety to your friends and family. That’s okay. However, you might want to find at least one person you trust to tell you’re sober. You might even know someone in your family who does not drink or use drugs. That person can be available to help when someone else pressures you to drink or use drugs.  In addition to telling someone who will be at the gatherings you attend, you should also have folks who are in recovery to reach out to for help. Being able to call, text, or message another person in recovery can be a huge help when you find your recovery being threatened by all of the holiday hooplas. 

Get Help With Addiction at Evolve Indy

At Evolve Indy, we have programs to meet your needs before, during, and after the holidays.  Whether you need extra support to get through the holidays or are coming back from a relapse, we’re here. We care about your success in recovery. We have a wide variety of programs that blend traditional and non-traditional therapies to treat addiction. Our programs range from residential to outpatient, and we will work with you to find the best fit for you. Contact us today to see how we can best support you in your journey to sobriety! 

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