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Tips for Maintaining Recovery During The Holidays

woman putting red ornament on christmas tree, smiling

The holiday season is a joyous time for many. However, even with the many exciting aspects of the holidays, it comes with challenges. This is true for nearly everyone, but especially for those currently recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Our team at Tennessee Wellness Center wants you to have a happy, sober holiday and we are here to provide tips that will help you accomplish this goal.

Why The Holidays Are Challenging

When you think of the winter holidays, you likely don’t think about the many challenges they bring. However, the truth is, there are many stressors and triggers associated with the holiday season.

Individuals in recovery may feel overwhelmed by:

  • The amount of time required to be spent with family and friends
  • The number of social obligations
  • The presence of alcohol at holiday festivities
  • The financial obligations of the season
  • The fear of feeling lonely or isolated from loved ones
  • Breaking their routine

These factors can all weigh heavily on one’s mind and ultimately could lead people to break their sobriety as a coping mechanism. Our staff at Tennessee Wellness Center is here to explain what steps you can take to ensure this does not happen to you.

Maintaining Sobriety in the Face of Holiday Stress

You may encounter difficult situations this holiday season and feel tempted to break your sobriety. You may find yourself justifying why it would be okay to break your sobriety just this once, and just because it is the holiday season. However, it’s important to stand strong in these situations. You will feel proud once you have overcome this challenge, and you will feel empowered to continue on in your recovery journey.

Keep Your Routine As Much As Possible

Maintaining your routine is important during the holiday season. If you wake up around a certain time, exercise regularly, have certain days for certain activities, etc., try to keep this routine as much as you can. This consistency will help you feel more in control of your life and ultimately provide you with mental fortitude.

Keep Support Networks Close

Who do you rely on when you’re having a hard time? Do you contact friends or family? Do you have a recovery mentor? Do you attend therapy? Whatever you choose, make sure that you have access to support over the holidays. Ask a friend if you can call them if you begin to struggle and plan to attend therapy regularly throughout the season.

Prioritize Yourself

The holidays often focus on spending time with and giving to others. You may feel so many obligations to others over the holidays that you don’t maintain self-care. Don’t let this happen– carve out time and take the space you need to care for yourself. This is especially necessary if you are feeling negative emotions and are at risk of spiraling.

Give yourself permission to say no to some social obligations and only stay where you are comfortable. Your health and recovery journey is of the utmost importance no matter the time of year.

Avoid Triggers

This goes hand-in-hand with prioritizing yourself. Many holiday celebrations involve alcohol, especially New Year’s Eve. If you know that an upcoming event will be focused on alcohol or other substances, it’s best to avoid attending. This removes the chance of you acting on any triggers and temptations.

Be Open With Your Loved Ones

Don’t try to get through your holiday-related challenges alone. If you feel yourself struggling, reach out to loved ones and be open and honest with them. Do not try to hide your feelings or concerns. Your loved ones are there to support and help you.

If you do not feel comfortable speaking candidly with your loved ones, reach out to our team at Tennessee Wellness Center.

Knoxville Addiction and Mental Health Treatment

If you have recently been struggling with substance use or mental health, it’s time to take action. Join our family at Tennessee Wellness Center and officially start your recovery journey. Click here to learn more about our programs and how working with our team can change your life for the better.