Thanksgiving, and the holiday season in general, can be a difficult time for people who are sober or trying to get sober. Obviously, in many households during this time there will be a lot of drinks flowing around which can be extremely triggering and cause many urges and cravings for people to use again. However, using will only lead you down a dangerous path of abuse once again and cause you to delay your long-term sobriety even further.
If you know that you are going to be around these triggers this holiday season, there are a few things that you can do to improve your situation and make it easier on yourself. Moreover, if you are the one hosting the event and you know that you have someone in recovery coming to your event, there are some things that you can do to make the event better for them.
Lower Relapse Risk
There are a number of key strategies and things that you can do to improve your chances of not relapsing during the holiday season. Following and using a few of the things below can help you stay sober during these tough times.
Learn To Say No
This is one of the best ways that you can avoid these problems. If you are offered a drink or some other substance the best thing you can do is just flat out say “no.” You don’t have to accept if you are offered. It is your right to politely say no and there is no need to provide an explanation. However, in some cases it can be good to let people know that you are in recovery as it will prevent people from prying or adding peer pressure to the situation.
Plan An Alternative
If the day of the event or party comes and you are feeling vulnerable and you have a bad feeling that you may relapse or feel too strong of urges to use again, then you should have a back-up plan ready. There are numerous things that you can do during the holiday season to feel better. For instance, you can go look at holiday lights or even go volunteer. Volunteering will not only help others but can provide a number of benefits to you and make you feel better.
Going along with this point, you should ensure that if you do end up going to a party or event that you have an exit strategy in place in order to make it easier to leave if you have to.
Have A Support Network
This is a good tip for anyone in recovery. It is important that you have people that you can go to and talk with if you are struggling with certain aspects of recovery. However, this is especially true during hard-to-deal-with periods such as the holiday season
Mocktails Are Your Friend
If you are going to a party, one of the easiest ways to avoid certain temptations is to already have a drink in your hand — a non-alcoholic drink that is. Drinking mocktails or at least holding one during parties won’t make people question why you don’t have a drink in your hand. There are a number of fun mocktail recipes that you can find online.
These are a few of the simple things that you can do to improve your situation and reduce the urges and relapse potential.
When it comes to the holidays, there are a lot of events and opportunities to drink and you may even be the one hosting. If this is the case, it is important to make sure that your parties are inclusive and that the people who are in recovery won’t feel pressured to drink or use.
Helping Those In Recovery
For people who are hosting parties and events there are a number of things that you can do to make your guests who are sober more comfortable and less likely to have a problem.
One of the easiest ways that you can be more inclusive with your events is to just be sure that you have sober options available to her. For instance, ensuring that you have non-alcoholic beverages available for guests will help people feel less obligated to drink and won’t feel the urges to use.
Along with just ensuring that you had non-alcoholic options available to you, you should just ask the person what you can do to make the situation more comfortable for them. Even if they say no, just reaching out and letting them know that you are here for them could be all the support that they need.
Sometimes, all people need is encouragement and support for them to stay sober. If they realize that you are aware of their sobriety and that you are there to help them have a good time without drinking, it can help reduce their chances of relapse.
If you or a loved one are looking for help with a substance abuse problem, there are a number of treatment options available. Finding a rehab center can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. It is important to look for treatment centers that can provide people with evidence-based care methods, an individualized treatment path, and a discharge plan to help them following their stay in inpatient treatment.
Landmark Recovery is one treatment center that has rehabs in Indiana and Kentucky to help people with whatever substance abuse issue that they may be dealing with. Landmark offers patients access to a number of evidence-based behavioral therapies to help them learn more about addiction and how to avoid relapses. If you are interested in learning more about how Landmark Recovery can help you, please reach out to our admissions team today.