The holidays present unique challenges to staying on track with our goals of sobriety. We associate the holidays with celebration. Then, over the course of our addictions, we came to associate celebration with drugs and alcohol. Through our alcohol addiction treatments, you can learn practical sober living tips for the holiday season.
3 Sober Living Tips For the Holidays
1. Make time to listen to yourself, and trust your instincts
Being busy with the holiday season, entertaining family and friends, all the shopping, cooking and cleaning, can take us away from ourselves. We stop listening to our inner voice and intuition. We might ignore our instincts telling us that we’re getting burned out, that we’re feeling really anxious and depressed, or that our stress is overwhelming us. When we don’t listen to our instincts, we’re more likely to get off track. We might be more tempted to use because we’re more disconnected from ourselves. Paying attention to our inner voice can rejuvenate us and give us back the strength we need to keep going with our goals of sobriety. It can help us to navigate the stresses and demands of the holiday season without getting so overwhelmed that we fall off the wagon.
2. Keep up with the practices that help you to stay sober
Whether it’s your spiritual practice of meditating in the morning, or a gratitude practice, or exercising to help keep your stress levels low, maintain your regular routine as much as possible during the holidays. The change in schedule, the parties and special events, and visiting with loved ones, can make us want to forego our practices. We think one day off won’t hurt, but often one day turns into two, which turns into a week. Before we know it, we’re not feeling like ourselves. We’re feeling down, depressed or overwhelmed. The grounding, calming and centering practices we’ve developed help keep us sober, and if we start to neglect them during the holidays, we run the risk of breaking down our willpower. We can lose our sense of direction and sense of being grounded. We can be tempted to turn to our addictions to cope.
3. Feel your emotions
For many of us, the holidays are about merriment and fun. However, they can also bring up some difficult emotions as well, including:
- A feeling of being particularly lonely: at holiday time, we are inundated with images of happy families that enjoy being together. However, that may not be your reality. If you’re away from friends and family during the holidays, it can be very challenging.
- We might be grieving a loss: experiencing grief at any time of year is difficult. However, grief during the holidays often feels particularly devastating. All around you are images of happiness and celebration. You, on the other hand, may feel neither happy or like celebrating.
- A bit of the holiday blues are cropping up: the holidays often set up impossible expectations of joy and comfort. All too often, most of us experience things during the holiday season that upend this happy image we try to keep in our heads. Things happen. Your holiday may not be as merry as it’s supposed to be.
Let yourself feel whatever feelings come up. Don’t think you need to plaster on a smile and keep it on all holiday season. That’s not realistic. Let yourself enjoy the holidays but also feel anything you need to feel. This will allow you to move through your challenging emotions more easily and naturally as you celebrate the holidays.
Alcohol Treatment in Washington
Our years of experience with addiction recovery make us specially equipped to help you navigate the various challenges that come with addiction. Call 855.478.3650 for more information.