The holiday season can be a fun and exciting time. However, it can also be extremely stressful and overwhelming, especially for someone who recently left an inpatient treatment center. The risk of relapse increases around the holidays. Knowing how to prepare for the holidays can save you from a relapse.
How to Avoid a Holiday Relapse
The holidays can be a trigger for many reasons. Gatherings often expose you to alcohol or drug use, making it more difficult to maintain your sobriety. In addition, stress and a full schedule can leave you feeling overwhelmed. All of these feelings can increase the likelihood of a relapse. Creating a holiday relapse prevention plan can help you enjoy the holidays while also maintaining your sobriety.
Know Your Limits
Everyone is different and relapse triggers vary from person to person. Some people handle stress better than others. It is important to know your limits and what a potential trigger may be. Avoid putting yourself in a situation that could jeopardize your sobriety.
Keep Your Recovery Active
Preparing for the holidays while you’re in recovery may mean getting more involved with your aftercare. This can include support groups, recovery meetings, peer coaching, and maybe even online treatment. While aftercare is recommended for anyone in recovery, you may need to do more in the holiday season. Look into additional meetings and what resources will be available to you.
Ask About Drugs & Alcohol in Advance
If you are invited to a holiday party, ask about the presence of drugs and alcohol before you make a decision. If there are going to be drugs and alcohol there, it is okay to say no. Your sobriety comes first.
Have and Exit Plan
We recommend to always have an exit plan. When you attend a holiday party, there is always a chance of facing stress or triggers. While using techniques from recovery can help you cope with stress, sometimes just leaving the party is the best option. That’s why we always recommend you drive yourself, so you can leave whenever you want. We also recommend you take a trusted friend with you that you can turn to when tempted or stressed.