Tips for Sober Living during the Holiday Season
We’ve written before about how difficult the holiday season can be for recovering alcoholics and addicts but the subject can’t get enough attention. The gauntlet of Thanksgiving through New Year’s may as well be set up for the sole purpose of punishing and pummeling recovering addicts for all the stress and temptation it puts on your recovery. But there is always hope. Isn’t that the spirit of the holidays? Hope.
Here are 3 tips for managing your sobriety during the most trying of family gathering times.
1. Have a list of Allies
Recovery is a team effort and you should always rely on friends and family for help and support during your more difficult days of sobriety. But take that a step further and prepare a list of 10 people you can call when the temptations get to be too much. You feel yourself reaching for that glass your idiot cousin keeps offering you, you go in the other room and call someone on the list. Let them talk you off the ledge.
2. Write a list of Gratitude
It’s a shame that the holidays have come to symbolize for so many the stresses and difficulties of family and tradition. The real meaning behind our annual end-of-year festivities is to celebrate gratitude and selfless charity. Every day, sit down and write out a few things you’re deeply grateful for. We’re all thankful for something in our lives, be it our days of sobriety, certain key loved ones, or the fact that we’re still alive after all the struggle. Be consciously grateful by writing it down.
3. Get out for a little Exercise
Exercise is generally a main staple of a successful recovery program but during the holidays when people are crammed into tight spaces or you’re sitting in your house alone, it’s even more beneficial to strap on some running shoes, grab a coat, and pad across town on a little holiday jog. The added bloodflow and endorphins to the brain will give you some backup reserves of energy to fight the cravings and your mood will be lighter afterward.
Don’t let the scrooge effect of your recovery overshadow the incredible healing properties of this holiday season. While in recovery, you’re learning to love yourself again and learning to care for others. Let the season teach you these things and contribute to the process with these 3 tips and practices.