Find Your Meaning in the Holidays :)

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Happy Holidays To You and Your Family!!

For some this phrase is uplifting and positive and makes them feel hopeful and uplifted! It can bring a feeling of joy, happiness, home, contentment and a wonderful break from the everyday routine of life. But unfortunately it’s not as simple as that. It can also be a phrase that brings feelings of disappointment, sadness, loneliness or even despair. The holidays are often associated with difficult memories or painful family or childhood dynamics. It doesn’t mean it’s all bad, it’s just that for many it’s a mix of happiness and hurt. But aside from just this, the holidays are often loaded with pressure or opportunities to use drugs or alcohol. There is typically a lot of drinking associated with this time of year, in addition to binging on things like sweets, junk food and overindulgence in general.

It can be important to go into the holidays with a plan of action, or plan of attack so to speak, so you don’t find yourself sucked into negative emotional triggers and memories of old hurts, or feeling pressured to break your sobriety just to participate. Just because past holidays were a certain way, doesn’t mean that future holidays can’t be different. Part of this involves planning ahead and understanding yourself and your needs very clearly. Ask yourself some simple (but important!:)) questions before and during the holidays:

1) What are my triggers that negatively impact my mood?

2) Are certain people, places or activities part of those triggers?

3) How might these triggers come up during the holidays?

4) How can these triggers be avoided?

5) What type of holiday plan might best help me to be happy, healthy and maintain my sobriety?

6) What would my “ideal experience” be during the holidays?

-How would I feel?
-What would I be doing?
-Where would I be going?
-Who would I be spending time with?

Something important to remember during the holidays is the balance between being your authentic self, living your authentic life and understanding your own needs. Suppressing or ignoring our own needs is a major factor in unhappiness, depression, hopelessness and anxiety. When we understand what we need and honor it every day, we will be happier, more balanced and sobriety is much easier to manage. When we don’t take good care of ourselves then we are a greater risk of relapsing or using drugs or alcohol.

So this holiday season please remember to take good care of yourself! Be kind to yourself everyday and understand what it is you need. Don’t ignore your feelings or triggers just to get through the holidays…it can come back around in negative ways you didn’t expect. And when you are celebrating and being thankful during this holiday season- don’t forget to celebrate your sobriety everyday and be thankful for yourself and everything you have come through to get here!

Learning how to honor your authentic self and your needs is an important part of recovery. Learning how to balance the pressure and expectations of family, friends or society is something that can take practice and gets easier with greater awareness and time. Silver Lining understands that you have spent a lot of time dealing with difficult emotions and triggers during your time using drugs and alcohol. These experiences impact your sobriety and a treatment plan for living your best life in recovery. Our policy of treating small numbers of people in each group allows us to get to know you and the exact type of help you need to learn to be kind to yourself and achieve your goals. We help you flourish now and in the future. Let our Huntington Beach location be where you begin again! Call us today for more information. (866) 448-4563.