Stress increases during the holidays, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a result, it becomes challenging for individuals battling substance abuse and mental health-related issues to cope. Family members can be a source of emotional pain. Since the holidays are primarily about creating time for family, it can push you into chronic stress and relapse if you are in the recovery process. However, Northern Illinois Recovery reveals a few tips you can use to enjoy sober holidays with loved ones.
Take Part in New Activities
The holidays are full of remarkable experiences, such as eating sumptuous meals with loved ones and decorating your home. To maintain your sobriety, change your goals during this coming holiday season. You can think of sober activities that you always wanted to do, but you have never done them because of some reason.
Trying new things will not only keep you busy but also disrupt toxic thoughts. Some of the ideas you can try include:
- Volunteering at a community for the homeless during Thanksgiving
- Going to bed early on New Year’s eve and waking up the following day to start the year sober
- Attending a Christmas vigil mass at the local church instead of going out to a bar
- Starting a 90-day yoga challenge on the first day of the new year
- Staying indoors and watching a movie with loved ones
Say No to Drugs and Alcoholic Drinks
Suppose you receive an invitation to a party where alcohol and drugs will be plentiful, turn it down because it is challenging to have sober holidays in such an environment. However, if it is necessary to attend the party, say no whenever someone offers you an alcoholic drink. When you consistently decline to use any intoxicating substances, people are going to respect your choice.
Consider leaving the party early if the behavior of the other people gets out of control. Talk to the organizers and cite your excuse for leaving the party. Tell them you are trying to maintain sobriety and the place is not conducive.
It is worth knowing that what matters is your peace of mind and not what others think of you, especially for turning down their requests.
Serve Other People During Sober Holidays
One of the best ways to enjoy the holidays while sober is to serve other people. You will feel happier and more fulfilled when helping others. Remember, you cannot serve others if you are not sober. For example, you cannot drive family members and friends for an excursion if you are intoxicated.
You can take it a notch higher and go to YouTube for tutorials on how to prepare a hearty meal for your family. If you are a parent, teach your children how to derive joy from serving others.
Maintain Connection With Your Therapist
If you have recently completed your residential rehab program, it would be best to connect with your therapist in case of emergencies. Despite your efforts to remain sober, temptations are inevitable sometimes. It is normal to feel like you are at the threshold of relapse.
Your therapist will help you to manage the challenging situations by recommending various addiction treatment programs, including:
- Sober living program
- Group therapy program
- 12 step program
- PTSD treatment program
- Recovery coaching program
- Dual diagnosis treatment programs
Connect With Sober Friends
Fostering friendships with sober people will help you overcome addiction triggers and enjoy sober holidays. Do not forget to visit your loved ones, especially those who significantly contribute to your road to recovery.
You can enjoy the relishing company of loved ones by organizing an event with your sober family members and friends.
Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Today
Enjoying sober holidays is not easy, especially if you have a chronic substance use disorder. However, having essential strategies will enable you to achieve your recovery goals. Reach out to a therapist for more information on how to enjoy a drug-free holiday. Call Northern Illinois Recovery at 855.786.1978 today to learn more about staying sober during the holidays.