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How to Stay Sober During the Holidays

The holiday season can be a difficult time for people trying to stay sober. There are so many temptations and triggers around us that it can be hard to resist. 

However, with a little bit of planning and preparation, it is possible to make it through the holidays without a single drink.

Here is a Relevance Behavioral Health guide with tips for staying sober during the holidays!

Relevance is a drug addiction and mental health rehab center in New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about how our treatment programs can help you stay on your recovery path.

Why Can the Holidays Be a Challenging Time During Recovery?

Why Can the Holidays Be a Challenging Time During Recovery?

The holidays often involve celebrations with friends and family, many of which include alcohol. For someone in recovery from drug or alcohol use disorder, the presence of drugs or alcohol can make it challenging to stay sober. 

Additionally, seasonal affective disorder may be a concern since the holidays are during the fall and winter months. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a seasonal form of depression typically experienced in the winter due to lack of sunlight. 

People dealing with SAD often find it challenging to focus and manage stress, which can lead to increased cravings for alcohol or other substances.

Identifying Holiday Season Addiction Triggers

Before the holiday season begins, it is essential to identify situations that may trigger your addiction. 

Identifying how you may be tempted to use drugs or alcohol is essential so that you can avoid these situations or plan how you will cope if they cannot be avoided. 

Common holiday substance abuse triggers often include:

  • Feelings of loneliness or depression
  • Stressful holiday expectations
  • Holiday parties with open bars
  • Family reunions with loved ones who engage in substance abuse
  • Seeing old friends from your drinking days
  • Holiday traditions that involve alcoholic beverages
  • Missing loved ones who are no longer around

8 Tips For Staying Sober During the Holidays

The following eight tips will help you focus on your recovery and enjoy the holiday season without stress. 

1. Create a Sober Plan Ahead of Time

First, make a plan for how you will handle any potential triggers or opportunities to drink alcohol. 

This could include having an exit strategy ready if needed or avoiding certain places or people that may trigger cravings for drinking. Stick to this plan in order to stay sober.

2. Practice Self-Care

Managing your physical and mental health is vital for addiction recovery. 

Don’t forget to take care of yourself during the holiday season. Ensure that you get enough rest, eat healthily, and exercise regularly.

3. Reach Out for Help 

If you find yourself struggling to stay sober or feel like your cravings are too strong, reach out to a friend or family member for support. 

You can also connect with a treatment professional or attend a Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

4. Avoid Isolation

Don’t isolate yourself from friends and family during the holidays. 

It may be tempting to stay away from others in order to reduce your triggers, but having supportive people around you can help you stay on track.

5. Keep Busy 

Likewise, find ways to keep yourself busy during the holidays, so your mind is occupied and less likely to think about alcohol. 

This could include taking up a new hobby or volunteering at a local organization.

6. Focus on Sobriety Success

Remind yourself how far you have come in your sobriety journey. 

Focus on how much better you feel without drugs or alcohol and how proud of yourself you should be for how far you have come.

7. Set Boundaries 

For many of us, this tip may be the most challenging. Know when it’s time to say no. Practice setting boundaries and learn how to decline invitations or offers for drinks politely.

8. Seek Professional Help

Finally, if you are struggling to stay sober despite your best efforts, it may be time to seek help from a professional. 

Alcohol and drug rehab centers such as Relevance Behavioral Health can help guide you through the complex addiction recovery process and provide the tools and resources necessary to maintain sobriety.

Staying sober during the holidays can be difficult, but it is possible. 

You can make it through this season with a plan and support from friends and family without a single drink. 

Remember to take care of yourself and stay focused on your sobriety journey!

Relevance Behavioral Health Offers Aftercare and Relapse Prevention in New Jersey

If you are looking for more information or support on how to stay sober during the holidays, contact Relevance Behavioral Health. 

Our addiction treatment center in New Jersey offers personalized aftercare and relapse prevention plans to help you stay on track. We also provide family counseling services to help loved ones better understand how to support their sobriety. Contact us today for more information!

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