The holidays are a time to eat, drink, and be merry. But what if you are recovering from addiction?
The holidays are filled with joy for many, but for others, they can be a source of distress. That’s why the holiday season can be a particular problem for those with substance use disorder. Here are 10 ways to keep on track in recovery through this holiday season:
Learn more about ways to avoid holiday addiction relapses by reading this medically reviewed article on addiction relapse during the holidays.
A great way to take care of yourself during times of stress is to check in with your mental health. The Canadian Mental Health Association has a short survey that can help gauge your mental well-being in the following 5 areas:
Note: This is not a scientific test. Information provided is not a substitute for professional advice. If you feel that you may need advice, please consult a qualified health care professional.
The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests — stress and depression. It is a highly demanding time and it’s often hard to keep up and that can take a toll on your mental well-being. Here are some tips that can help you manage the stress of the holidays!
Acknowledge your feelings – Just because it’s the holiday season, it doesn’t mean you won’t have negative thoughts. You’re valid for feeling the way you feel on any given day, including the holiday season so take time to acknowledge and express your feelings.
Reach out – If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out help. Our counsellors are here to guide you. Call us during the holidays for support. You can also seek support and companionship through other community or spiritual organizations.
Be realistic – Given the current state of the world, many family traditions may not be the same as they used to and that’s ok. Find other ways to celebrate, whether virtually through a video call, or other means online.
Set aside differences – Sometimes even the ones closest to you will not understand what you are going through and the battles you’ve fought just to get here. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations.
Stick to a budget – This can be a major source of stress. Remember that it’s the thought that matters and not the monetary value of your holiday gifts. Setting a budget will help manage that stress by focusing on the important thing this holiday season.
Plan ahead – December can go by pretty fast! Keep track of all the things you need to get done this month and try to give yourself more time than you need for each activity. It’s ok if you can’t fit everything into one month so plan ahead and prioritize the important things.
Learn to say no – Saying yes to almost everything all the time can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Try to prioritize the things that are not only important but also bring you the most joy.
Don’t abandon healthy habits – Given the holiday season is a time to relax and reset for the new year, it can be tempting to let go of what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Stick to your goals and remember to zoom out to get a better perspective of your accomplishments.
Take a breather – Seeing family and friends, keeping up with traditions, and running around to shop can put a toll on you. Try to develop a consistent self-care routine to help you keep the holiday stress at bay.
Seek professional help if you need it – We’re always here if you need help. Get in touch with us if you are feeling overwhelmed and our counsellors will be able to guide you. To get more in-depth tips on managing your stress during the holiday season, read this Mayo Clinic Article on Stress Management.
Our podcast recommendation this month is from 2020 but the message is still relevant. Holiday stress isn’t only about parties and drinking. There is added stress from every direction and that can be overwhelming. Join professional life coach Angela Pugh as she helps you create a plan for surviving the holidays. Not just thinking about it haphazardly, but really mapping out a plan to protect yourself, your sobriety, and keep your stress manageable so you don’t end up vulnerable to the drink. Tune in below or listen to other episodes here.