Deciding to walk the road of recovery means starting a whole new way of life. And for many people, that means a new way of celebrating the holidays.
If you used drugs and alcohol to numb your way through difficult family situations, holiday stress or depression, facing the season clean and sober can seem overwhelming.
Try these coping strategies to stay sane, sober, and centered during the holiday season.
- Stay dedicated to your recovery program. It goes without saying, but you shouldn’t change up your schedule of meetings, fellowshipping, and step work just because it’s the holidays. You’ll need that solid foundation now more than ever.
- Stay flexible. Give yourself permission to change things up and do what you need to do to protect your serenity. It doesn’t matter if you “always” celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends at the local dive bar, or serve spiked eggnog on Christmas Eve. Give yourself the freedom to change your traditions – and even your family’s – to accommodate and protect your recovery.
- Stay centered. Work the 11th Step daily, through prayer, meditation, or even a quiet walk outside. Taking a break from the emotional “noise” of the holidays will help keep you spiritually fit.
- Practice gratitude. Try a daily gratitude list or even a gratitude group text with recovery friends, to keep you focused on what really matters this holiday season. It’s impossible to be grateful and resentful at the same time.
- Give back. The holiday season is a perfect time to perform an act of service. Whether you take on a commitment in your fellowship, or simply volunteer at a local soup kitchen, giving back will get you out of your head and your problems. You’ll feel better about yourself, and more grateful for your life in recovery.
You can also check out our relapse prevention tips for the holidays here.