It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means the trees are being trimmed, the halls are being decked and the parties are being planned.
This time of year is filled with precious moments and family gatherings, but the stress associated with all of the gettogethers and obligations can be a bit overwhelming: especially for your recovering loved one.
While some may scoff at the thought of the holidays being overly stress inducing, the fact of the matter is that all of the commitments associated with the holiday season can tremendously increase your recovering loved one’s stress and anxiety – which can easily result in a potential relapse.
You can greatly aid in decreasing this possibility and simultaneously reduce your loved one’s stress by planning ahead, implementing a game plan to minimize their stress and actively supporting your recovering loved one during the holiday season.
Why Holiday Relapse Prevention is Imperative
While preventing relapse for all recovering addicts is an essential part of the recovery journey, actively working to avoid a potential relapse around the holidays is even more important. This is due to the increased amount of alcohol consumption and general revelry associated with the holiday season.
The pressures and enticement that this constant temptation can place upon your recovering loved one can not only instigate a relapse, but also make interacting throughout the holidays an act of attrition.
To make matters worse, succumbing to a relapse around the holiday season can reverberate with your loved one, casting a shadow over future holidays and placing a dark stain on their Christmas celebrations for years to come.
You Can Help Your Loved One Avoid Addiction Triggers During the Holidays
Wanting to stay sober and actually avoiding all of the temptation and addiction triggers associated with the holidays are two entirely different things. Helping your loved one maintain their sobriety around Christmas requires careful thought and planning in order to recognize all of the stressors they may encounter.
Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays
Implementing these simple steps can greatly aid in decreasing their personal stress and relapse potential, while also ensuring they enjoy the holidays and the time they spend with friends and family.
Plan Your Conversations and Methods of Declining Drinks
The reality of the holidays is that everyone is celebrating, so there’s a strong possibility that some unknowing individual is going to offer your loved one a drink. Working with them to create a list of personal responses to these offerings in order to decrease feelings of embarrassment or stress is a great method of empowerment.
Imagine your loved one delivering a light-hearted response when being offered an alcoholic beverage. Take the time to help your loved one plan responses and practice them with your loved one to ensure they are prepared to handle any and all scenarios.
Set a Budget for Gift Buying and Emphasize Giving Time, Not Gifts
The Christmas season has become synonymous with gift giving, and for some, this tradition has taken on astronomical proportions.
Make sure to emphasize the importance of simply spending time with family and not spending copious amounts of money on material things. This is a great way of decreasing potential stress for your recovering loved one.
They should be focused on maintaining their sobriety and cherishing the time they spend with those who support and love them in a sober and healthy mind state.
Encourage Healthy Habits and Personal Time Around the Holidays
An important component to the entire recovery journey is creating healthier personal routines in order to replace the old addictive habits. This is especially applicable in relation to managing stress and avoiding unnecessary incidents of relapse.
Make sure your recovering loved one maintains their improved personal habits, including their healthier diet, increased physical activity, mindfulness trainings and personal time to simply decompress. This is essential throughout the holiday season.
This will also ensure that they continue to focus on their sobriety throughout this time and provide them with a constant outlet for managing stress if and when they experience increased personal stress or anxiety around Christmastime.
Taking the time to work with your recovering loved one to prepare for the holiday season with a plan to avoid the inherent temptations and stressors associated with this time of year is a great way to aid in them avoiding a relapse.
Implementing simple steps to decrease their personal stress levels while encouraging healthier personal habits is a true recipe for success. It is entirely possible for your recovering loved one to enjoy the magic associated with Christmas, while also maintaining their sobriety and managing their stress.
All it takes is support and love from those around them to help make their season bright.
Christian-Based Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Covenant Hills
From all of us at Covenant Hills, we wish you a safe, joyous and truly blessed holiday season.
Always remind your loved one of how strong and worthy they are and assure them that their addiction holds no power over them.
Should your loved one find themselves in a situation where their substance of choice has crept back into their life and they need help getting back on track, we’ll be here for them.
We work with every aspect of an individual to ensure complete care. We will focus on healing their entire being – their mind, body and soul – and better help them prepare to avoid triggers, prevent relapse and sustain sobriety moving forward.