Drug Addiction Recovery During the Holidays
Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve is supposed to be the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” But for someone who has struggled with drug abuse and is in recovery, this can be a hard time. Holiday preparations, decorations, shopping, parties, family celebrations…all can be overwhelming for a person who has struggled with addiction.
The holidays can be a stressful time and drug use in the past could have been a way to deal with stress. Also because of addiction, relationships may have been strained and this can bring on regret and depression especially during the holidays. The good news is you can stay clean and make the holidays enjoyable and special. Here are some tips for you to have a festive holiday season without a relapse:
Plan each day.
Think about what you need to do today to stay on your goal of clean living. Be organized and break down achievable holiday tasks so there is no additional stress. Think about what you want to do today that gives you happiness.
Stay in the present.
Don’t worry about the future or dwell on regrets from your past. Enjoy today and be thankful for your recovery process. Make a list of what you are thankful for and read this every morning.
Say no to parties or activities that may put you at risk of relapse. If you believe a certain party or activity could present a non-desirable situation, think about an exit plan before hand. If possible take a friend or family member that will support and encourage you to leave if necessary.
Being too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired makes you feel vulnerable and you may be more apt to make a poor decision. Make sure you eat nutritious meals and snacks. If you are angry about something, talk about it with a friend, pray about it, meditate, exercise…whatever you need to do to calm down. If you are lonely, there are many things you can do. Call a friend, go to a support group, volunteer and help others, or visit an elderly neighbor that would much enjoy your company. There are many people who enjoy the holidays without drug use and spend time with them. Make sure you also get the sleep you need.
Start new traditions.
Start new traditions that don’t involve drug use. Create new positive memories that last a lifetime.
Lean on your support system.
Make sure you continue to attend all support groups because it is important to know you are not alone and others are experiencing the same struggles and emotions that you are during the holidays. Ask family and friends for their support. They will want to be there for you. Stay close to your supportive friends and family and those you have met on your recovery journey.