10 STEPS TO SAFEGUARD YOUR RECOVERY DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Tis the season of merriment where the food and alcohol flow more readily than usual and stress is even higher. Some of the greatest joys in life come from your sobriety, so it’s important this season, to safeguard your recovery and protect yourself from relapsing.
These tips may come in handy over the next few weeks, as you navigate the holidays.
1.Set Realistic Goals
Staying in recovery is your number one priority. Don’t get distracted by someone else’s expectations. Do what is best for you!
2.Stick With The Basics
Get plenty of rest, eat three meals a day and get some exercise to keep those endorphins happy. It’s important to keep your blood sugar level balanced and watch your smoking/caffeine intake. It’s very easy to give in to old habits and use unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Stay in touch with others in recovery and family who make healthy choices. These are the people who understand and support you on this journey. Be sure to keep in touch with your sponsor and ask them to message or call you while you are at an event to check-in.
4.Have an Escape Plan
There’s nothing wrong with needing to leave an event early if it becomes too much. When possible, have your own transportation so you can decide when to arrive and leave. If that’s not possible make sure you have a sober friend you can call if things get too much and you need a safe “out”. It’s always best to arrive early and leave early.
5.Find New Ways to Celebrate
The best part about sobriety is getting to grow into a better person, take this opportunity to change how you celebrate. Plan new activities with sober, safe friends and family such as ice skating, tree trimming parties, baking, or even a Christmas movie marathon- anything to create new, sober, and fun traditions.
6.Have your props ready.
When you arrive at a party, immediately get a non-alcoholic beverage and keep it in your hand. Whether it’s sparkling water or soda, others won’t be inclined to push drinks on you constantly. And, the truth of the matter is, people never really notice or pay attention to what’s in your glass. (Most people tend to think about themselves more than others!
Understand this time of year might be an emotional time for you. Stay mindful of when you begin to feel signs of anger, sadness, or loneliness then take action to address these feelings.
The holidays don’t give us a green light to overindulge. There’s nothing worse than stuffing ourselves with too much sugar, carbs, and fat-laden goodies that make us feel bad. So be proactive and choose healthy dietary foods that will make you want to celebrate, not feel guilty.
When we can focus on others, we find more joy and gratitude. So look for ways to think about and serve others. Make a special family recipe and deliver to friends. Donate your time at a homeless shelter, food pantry, or soup kitchen. Spend time with a neighbor who is confined. These spiritual opportunities allow us to spread happiness and cheer to others.
10. MEETING, MEETING, MEETINGS
Most importantly go to MEETINGS. Recovery groups and AA/NA are a safe place for you to be and get support, go to as many as possible. Aim for a meeting a day and when possible sandwich non-sober events in-between meetings. That way you start off strong and then have support after.
The holidays can be a scary time, whether it’s your first year sober or your 30th. Remember to surround yourself with healthy people and reach out when you need help. You don’t have to take this journey alone and we at Obtainable Sobriety are here to help!