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Holiday Sobriety in the Face of Temptation

Holiday Sobriety - The Bergand Group

With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be nervous about the coming time spent with family and friends or just at home in general. You aren’t alone in this anxiety; a lot of people dread the season and the social interactions that it may involve. Particularly if you are working to recover from drug or alcohol abuse, this time of year can challenge sobriety. Don’t worry, though: the holidays can actually be a boon to your recovery if you go about things the right way.

A Bright Season Within Holiday Sobriety

The holiday season and its various days (and/or nights) of celebration often come with the directives “eat, drink, and be merry.” Unfortunately for those who are in recovery, drinking and substance-related merriment can be a tempting presence where it might not otherwise have loomed. The individual may have removed those lures from his or her own life, but when family and friends come back into the picture for a party or gathering, those moments of temptation may come back.

Particularly challenging are the events that you yourself may be hosting or are somehow responsible for. Such situations create a large amount of stress in most people, and drinking or using drugs is a way to manage stress for some. Planning for any number of people can be taxing, and that’s on top of interacting with people who you may not see through the entire year. The pressure to be highly social can really add to the intensity of the day or days. On the other hand, “for people without close family ties, loneliness may set in.” That is, this time of year is tough for a lot of different people, particularly on top of trying to maintain sobriety.

To keep up with your holiday sobriety with as little stress as possible, create a plan or point of focus that can help you to remember why you entered into recovery in the first place. Recall practices that have helped you to manage cravings in the past. Be mindful of periods throughout the event where you might face particularly large challenges. Ask ahead of time if there will be something like an open bar where there might be greater temptation than usual, in which case you could spend more time in another area, always have a non-alcoholic beverage on hand, and occupy your time with a friend.

Some items “trigger” some people more than others. Do you know what kinds of situations would cause you the most trouble, should they arise? It’s best to be able to identify them so that you can more easily avoid them and navigate them. In addition, you are more at risk if you aren’t physically and mentally well, so take care of your body and work to relax your  mind so that you have the best shot in reducing your reaction to a trigger. Part of this means eating, sleeping, and allowing yourself time to wind down after a long day.

“Just because you have a thought doesn’t mean you have to act on it.” It also doesn’t mean that you have to criticize yourself for having that thought. Practice mindfulness, in which you acknowledge the presence of the thought, whether it’s a craving or otherwise, and allow it to pass by without doing anything about it. This way, you aren’t devaluing yourself, but you also aren’t allowing these meddling thoughts to have any power.

To learn more about how best to maintain your holiday sobriety, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including medication management strategies.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, 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 rehab 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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