Navigating the holidays can be tough. At the same time, with the right attitude, they can be joyous and filled with magic. The ability to maintain your sobriety during this holiday season is within your grasp. As the season descends upon us, keep in mind these tips and strategies that can help keep your recovery moving forward in a positive direction.
Prioritizing What Matters Most
It’s no surprise that we can get wrapped up in the chaos of the holiday season. We can be overwhelmed by accumulated pressures. Holiday parties and activities are in abundance, and the expectation to show up to every single event can place unnecessary stress on your mind. Accept that it’s okay to skip the parties. It is absolutely fine to stay home and not succumb to the obligation you may feel to attend every holiday gathering on your plate.
Choose what is most important to you by creating a list that prioritizes how you spend your time. Avoid situations that feel more like an obligation, and choose more of what truly brings you joy during this holiday season. This could be visiting your grandparents, creating new traditions with your family, or volunteering at a nearby shelter. Remember, this is your recovery – choose what matters most to you to keep your recovery headed in the right direction.
Stick to Your Routines
Although the holiday season adds new things to your routines, it is important to keep your normal habits in place. This is especially true when your normal routine involves healthy coping mechanisms. If hitting the gym five times a week helps you relieve stress, don’t skip it so you can attend your company’s holiday party. It may seem like it’s no big deal to change things up for a day or two, but sometimes adding stress and eliminating a healthy outlet can challenge your whole path to recovery.
If your recovery path includes attending a 12-Step meeting, make sure you stay consistent, whether it’s reaching out to your sponsor, meeting with your support groups, or keeping up with your exercises. Breaking your routine can cause you significant discomfort that you could easily avoid. Adding to your routine during this holiday season is almost unavoidable, so focus on not letting these changes interfere with the most critical healthy routines that you’ve established. The foundation of your recovery is built upon the positive practices you adopt, and maintaining them should be a top priority.
Avoid Uncomfortable Situations
You probably already have a good idea of which gathering is going to create the most turmoil for you. Skip it entirely. There is no reason for you to put yourself in a situation that could interfere with your recovery. The holiday season is meant to be magical, and there is nothing magical about being in a place that jeopardizes the success of your future well-being. Your recovery is your number one priority. Having friends and family who support you and know not to push you into situations that may compromise your success feels much better than spending time around those who guilt you into attendance. Skip the parties, the hustle, and bustle of the malls, or any situation that is simply not a healthy space for you.
Have Your Exit Plan In Motion
When venturing out to holiday gatherings, let your host know ahead of time that you may only stay for a short while. Upon arriving, priming the guests about your premature departure will save you from last-minute guilt trips that may force you to feel obligated to stay. If you are attending a party with a friend or spouse, prepare an exit plan with them. This allows for the exit to be a team effort, leaving no room for either of you to feel blindsided, and mitigating any awkward, avoidable encounters when you are ready to leave. Arranging your exit plan ahead of time can make for a much smoother round of goodbyes that helps your recovery stay intact.
Let Yourself Indulge
Indulging does not mean over-indulging; it means treating yourself. The holidays give us an excuse to indulge in the things that we push aside all year long. This could be an extra piece of chocolate cake or a membership to that cycling class you have always wanted to try. Treat yourself to something that brings you joy. You have earned it, and you deserve to reward yourself with something that fills your heart with glee, small or large. This has been a year of recovery for you. It has been a year of triumph full of effort and sacrifice. Let yourself indulge for all the hard work you put into yourself and the success of your continued recovery – you deserve it!
A successful recovery takes sacrifice and effort. The holidays are upon us, bringing stress and discomfort in the form of numerous events and gatherings that we are expected to cram into our schedules. Remember that you do not have to attend these events and that it is normal and healthy to create an exit plan that keeps you on the road to recovery. This holiday season can be joyous, merry, and filled with gratitude and prosperity. It does not have to be consumed with stress, nor does it have to jeopardize your recovery. Treat yourself to a holiday season that is harmonious with your well-being. Indulge in something that helps reward you for all the hard work you have put into your victorious recovery. To form plans for continued recovery success this holiday season, or to get support in trying times, reach out to Everlast Recovery Centers. We’re here to offer help and guidance to keep you on your path to recovery and create a life you want to live. Call us at 866-DETOX-25.