After you get clean from drugs and alcohol, resisting the temptation to relapse can be an ever-present challenge. Avoiding relapse is arguably never more difficult than during the holidays.
The holidays are a time of both stress and celebration, making it a significant trigger for addicts. So, how can you avoid jeopardizing your addiction recovery and stay sober during the holidays? These nine tips for staying sober will help you to stay on the right path throughout this difficult period.
1. Have Sober Strategies
It’s important that you have strategies in mind for staying sober throughout the holiday period. This isn’t really a situation where you can afford to wing it.
For example, you might need to have a response prepared if you’re offered alcohol. You might also need to have a strategy in place if you feel tempted to drink.
It pays to start thinking about these things early. Without a solid strategy of how you’re going to stay clean and sober, you risk relapsing.
2. Have the Right Attitude
It’s important to have a plan, but it’s also important to have the right attitude. If you don’t believe in yourself and your ability to stay sober throughout the holidays, you’ll struggle.
You need to go into every event with the mindset that you’re going to do the right thing. If you go in with a negative mindset, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
With that said, you shouldn’t be overconfident that you can stay sober. You’ll need to take things seriously if you want the holidays to be a success.
3. Share Your Growth With Others
The holidays are a great time to share your sober success story with friends and family. Not only will people be happy to hear it, but it will also help you to stay sober and accountable to yourself.
When you share your success with people who care about you, you won’t want to let them down by succumbing to relapse. With that said, you should be careful about who you share your story with.
Giving details about your sobriety to other addicts is not always a good idea as they might not be supportive.
4. Avoid Alcohol
Not every addict is addicted to alcohol, but that doesn’t mean you can drink as much as you want over the holidays. Sadly, alcohol can be a huge trigger for relapse, even if you’re not an alcoholic.
Alcohol significantly lowers your inhibitions, so it’s likely that getting drunk will motivate you to use drugs again. If you must drink over the holidays, stick to low percentage drinks and drink them slowly.
5. Avoid the Wrong Places
Being around certain environments where you previously engaged in destructive behavior can be a trigger. If you’re trying to stay clean from alcohol and you’re in an environment where you’ve previously drunk a lot, it could be a challenge.
It might make sense to try and avoid spending the holidays in places with these kinds of memories. Of course, there’s a limit to how much you can avoid. For example, you can’t expect to avoid visiting your hometown if that’s where your family lives.
6. Avoid the Wrong People
When you’re recovering from addiction, it’s important that you don’t associate with the wrong kind of people. This is especially true for the holidays. Unfortunately, relationships with addicts can turn especially toxic when you get clean.
It may be necessary for you to cut other addicts out of your life after you get clean. Many addicts will have a difficult time seeing friends or family get clean. It may lead to difficult thoughts about their own addictions.
This might lead them to try and get recently clean friends to relapse. It’s unfortunate, but if you’re serious about staying clean, you may have to cut all of the addicts out of your life.
You should also make sure you don’t have the contact details of anyone who could possibly sell you drugs in the local area.
7. Avoid Known Risks
When celebrating the holidays, you need to try to avoid unnecessary risks to your sobriety. As an ex-addict, you should have a pretty good idea about what the risks are.
For example, some people struggle to be around alcohol after they stop drinking. For other people, seeing certain people might be a big risk. You should take the time to identify these risks.
8. Don’t Spend the Holidays Alone
You should also try to avoid spending the holidays alone if possible. Being by yourself during the holidays can be a lonely and difficult experience, even if you’re not a drug addict or alcoholic.
That’s why you should make an effort to spend the holidays with friends or family if possible.
9. Spend the Holidays in Rehab
If you don’t feel strong enough in your sobriety, you might consider checking into a rehab facility. This might be particularly useful if it will be your first holiday period spent sober.
Of course, checking into rehab every year might not be viable, but it is a good short-term solution if you feel at risk of a relapse. For this situation, staying in an inpatient rehab facility is likely your best option.
These Tips for Staying Sober Will Help You Through the Holidays
The holidays might be the biggest challenge you face as someone who just recently got clean. It’s important that you have a plan of action in place. You’ll be exposed to stressful situations during the holidays, which could act as a trigger for relapse.
These tips for staying sober can help, but take the time to consider the right route for you. While spending time with your friends and family over the holidays can be beneficial, if you think it will be too much, you might consider checking yourself into a rehab facility.
If you’d like to handle the holidays by attending a rehab facility, you can get in touch through our contact page.