Eat, Drink, and be Merry! This is a popular holiday slogan that many of us are familiar with. Nevertheless, holidays are often a time that can be a trigger for individuals struggling with addiction and sobriety. Many people think that the holidays are just a time for happiness and time with family. However, addiction often ramps up during this time of year.
There are some precautions that can be put in place in order to help protect oneself from relapsing and to continue on the path of sobriety.
One of the most important parts of staying sober during the holidays is being able to have a realistic approach to triggers. Many times there are certain people that can cause us to want to drink or do drugs; other times, it may be that the substances are more accessible.
One way of keeping yourself safe is coming up with a sobriety plan and having a support system that you can rely on if triggers or cravings arise.
This helps you to get the support that you need to remain sober as well as being able to set proper boundaries around drugs and alcohol. Managing cravings is also critical. Most cravings will go away within 20 to 30 minutes. In order to stay strong during that time, it may help you to move to a different setting, talk your self out of the urge, and remember why sobriety is important to you and how much you risk by giving into the craving.
Self-care is an important preventative measure that helps to ensure that our bodies and minds are prepared to handle certain stressors.
There are many factors that are outside of our control. However, our diet, exercise routine, and sleep are a few things that we can manage. Diet, exercise, and sleep all contribute to the overall well being of mental health and to being emotionally resilient to triggers that may cause an individual to relapse. Holidays should be an exciting period, but for a person newly in recovery, they can cause stress and anxiety. Don’t wait to reach out for support; instead, take control and properly prepare yourself for anything that you may encounter.
Chelsey Beauchamp, MS
cbeauchamp @ growcounseling.com