Staying Sober and Clean During The Holidays
Happy Holidays Everyone!
This post is a continuation of the series of other posts. We hope everyone’s holidays are going well and are full of joy and happiness so far!
However, if you have encountered any difficulties along the way, such as financial, job, family or relationship stresses, you are not alone. Staying clean and sober during this time, especially if there are stressors or other people using drugs or drinking can make this time of year a challenge.
More than this recovery is a day by day experience…it is a moment to moment practice that requires mindfulness and awareness of how you are feeling and experiencing the world. When someone relapses it is not all of sudden. There is usually a pre-lapse, where you have been being triggered and experiencing stressors beforehand and consciously or unconsciously inching your way forward towards relapsing or thinking “just one drink” won’t hurt, etc. Rationalizing, making excuses, lying to yourself, slowly leading down the path towards relapse.
But don’t worry! Below are some tips that can be helpful for avoiding or becoming aware of pre-lapse before it happens and to help protect you from relapsing during this holiday season.
- Practice mindfulness everyday. Do at least 15-20 minutes of mindfulness meditation everyday to make sure you are helping yourself manage and increase tolerance for stress. This mindfulness meditation practice can be done with guided meditation podcasts, with sitting meditation, walking meditation, standing meditation, and progressive relaxation laying down exercises. Either way, the most important thing is to do it everyday to increase your level of mindfulness and moment to moment awareness of how you are feeling and to catch pre-lapse tendencies before they start. This also helps to increase your tolerance for difficulties and challenges as they arise and your ability to handle stress.
- Surround yourself with positive, healthy people. A major trigger during the holidays can be being surrounded by unhealthy people or people that cause you to experience greater negative emotions. These people may or may not be sober, but either way the people we surround ourselves with are very important for our recovery and for how we feel about ourselves and experience our lives. There’s an expression or saying that goes “we are the sum total of the 5 people we surround ourselves with the most.” I’m not sure if this is true or not but it points to the impact that the people we surround ourselves with have on us. Therefore, take a look at the people you will be around during this holiday season and try to pick people that help you to feel loved, support and accepted for who you are.
- Take time out for yourself. This is another important tip. Not only is it very worthwhile to practice mindfulness everyday as well as surround yourself with positive, healthy people…taking time out for yourself may be the most important piece of this puzzle. Find things that are positive and uplifting for you, that make you feel happy, supported and at ease and do them at least once a day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 5 or 10 minute thing… as long as it feels like YOURS. It needs to be something that is special to you that you do FOR you. It can be free or cost money, it doesn’t matter. This is a very individual activity and may require some self reflection to see what works best for you. Also, it is recommended to find a handful of things that are supportive for you. This way you have multiple things to choose from each day depending on what’s happening and how you feel.
So Happy Holidays!! There will be another post soon for a Happy Sober New Year!!
During recovery, there may be days where it’s hard to do anything new or any self care. But we are here for you! Remember at Silver Lining Recovery we are here to help no matter what is going on. Our post-rehab services include 12-Step, SMART, and other counseling, holistic, and support programs to help you on your sobriety journey. You are doing great and are never alone, call us today at (866) 448-4563 to learn more about our services.