One of the most difficult times of the year for those recovering from a substance use disorder is Thanksgiving to Valentines Day holiday season. If you find yourself struggling during these times, you are not alone! Here are some tips to help you from taking a first drink or drug.
1.Plan Each and Every Day of Your Holiday
Plan to spend most of the time with family and friends that are supportive of your recovery. If you are required to be present for social gathering where alcohol is being served, bring a fellow AA member with you. Plan fun events and outings to replace your old drinking rituals.
2.Find and “Alc-a-Thon” in Your Area
During the holiday season, some AA groups hold a marathon of meetings called an “Al-ca-thon”. It is a time when the members of Alcoholics Anonymous gather together to celebrate their recovery from alcohol and addiction. Many AA groups have meetings on the hour every hour to share their experience, strength, ahd hope. If you are not a member of the fellowship or think that you might have a problem with alcohol, you are welcome to attend. Check the local papers for an “Alc-ca-thon” in your area.
3.Ask for Support from Your Family and Friends
Those who truly support your recovery will be happy to help you throughout the holidays. Be up front and tell them your concerns.
4.Have a List of at Least Ten People you can call if you feel the Urge to Drink
Make a list and check it twice. Always carry your cell phone and your list of names. The urge to drink is very powerful and can happen anytime.
5. Don’t Forget about Regular Exercise
Regular exercise is an essential component of any balance recovery program. If you have extra time on your hands, it is a great idea to get out and exercise. Examples include running, skating, cross country skiing, stretching, yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates or water aerobics. Instead of napping on the couch after dinner, go for a walk around the block.
6. Stay Away from Slippery Places
There is absolutely no reason to ever check out your former favorite drinking establishments. It is very likely that your old drinking buddies are still there and are still telling the same old stories.
7. Join us for an Alcohol-Free Event
We recently started a nonprofit for people in recovery, Grace & Sobrie-Tea. Please check out our website for upcoming events!
Alanna is the Owner and Clinical Director of Breathe., LLC. Alanna is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, Registered Yoga Instructor, and Certified Heartmath Trainer. Alanna has over 20 years of experience working in the addictions field. Alanna takes a holistic approach when working with clients, combining the mind, body, and spirit in counseling.