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Holiday Season as a Recovering Addict

Addiction Recovery during the HolidaysHoliday Season as a Recovering Addict - The Bergand Group

The holidays can be a beautiful time of the year, especially for a recovering addict. A picture perfect Thanksgiving often reflects a happy family sitting around the table with a beautiful meal in front of them. While this can be the case, more often than not these expectations aren’t met – families argue, food burns, and things don’t turn out as planned. It is important to allow for things to go awry during this time of year. Expectations that are held high tend to put more stress on everyone.

On top of stressful expectations and encounters, being a recovering addict can be really tough during the holiday season. A recovering addict has a lot of pressure put on them, especially if this is the first holiday that they’re in recovery.

This time of year usually means indulgence. People eat more than they normally would, drink more than they’d like to admit, and tend to forget that self-care is important. Taking steps to prevent relapse is more important than ever during the holidays. If you or a family member is a recovering addict there are some crucial things to remember this holiday season.

Tips For a Recovering Addict

Allow for alone time. Self-care is a crucial step to staying sober. This means allowing for alone time. Being around people for long periods of time can be stressful, especially if you’re having to explain that you are a recovering addict. Set aside some time every day (ideally 2-3 times a day) to regroup and relax. Do something that you love, whether that means read a book, watch your favorite TV show, or call a healthy non-using friend, as a way to wind down from excessive interaction with family and friends.

Prepare a back-up kit. Unfortunately during the holiday season alcohol is abundant. Try to abstain from events where alcohol is the central activity. It is more important to stay sober than to see old friends who don’t understand that you are a recovering addict. If alcohol is present during your family dinners, have one or two family members check-in with you to make sure that you aren’t too tempted. If you find that being around alcohol is too tempting, try talking to the host beforehand. Perhaps they will make the event alcohol-free. Always make sure that you have your sponsor or counselor’s numbers on-hand.

Don’t hover around your recovering family member. Acting as though your family member can’t handle situations on their own will increase stress and tension for everyone. Before the event, ask your family member if they need anyone to check in on them during the day. If they turn down the offer it is important to respect their decision.

Bring non-alcoholic beverages. Bring a non-alcoholic beverage to have during dinner. If family members toast before meals, you won’t feel left out. Consider a special alcohol-free cider, or have fun and make a beverage from a recipe. Many times there will be other people who abstain from drinking, whether they are a recovering addict or not, and they will appreciate the gesture.

Plan for exercise. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. If possible, plan to stay active during the holiday season. If you are traveling to visit friends or family, seek out an activity that you enjoy. Whether that means finding a place to hike, a yoga studio, or a gym, exercising during this time will be beneficial to your well-being.

The work you put into being sober is more important than appeasing those around you. Planning ahead will ensure that the holidays are enjoyable. The Bergand Group offers weekly classes for recovering addict on relapse prevention. Here you will learn coping skills, tips on how to identify high-risk situations, and ways to increase your confidence during the recovery process. Follow these links for more information on The Bergand Group’s relapse prevention and psychoeducational programs.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore, MD our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehabilitation and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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