Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

Many former patients at our Fayetteville rehab center call our doctors with the same question: how do I stay sober during the holiday season? The truth is that the Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas visits to family, and New Year’s Eve spent with friends are more than joyous occasions for a former addict. There are also occasions when they are surrounded by temptations and may relapse.

We’re sharing helpful tips to help you deal with these challenges and maintain your sobriety.

1. Celebrate the New You

The holidays are occasions to celebrate and remind ourselves how lucky we are to have family and friends around us. For you, it is also a moment to celebrate the new life you are building for yourself, free of addiction.

This is a powerful motivator to stay away from temptations and say no if they are offered to you. If you feel that you are still not strong enough to refuse, consider the next tip.

2. Avoid Triggering People and Situations

By now, after the one-on-one sessions with your rehab doctor, you know what triggers your addiction. It could be the annoying cousin always belittling you and challenging you to do reckless things. It could be a club or bar where you were meeting with your dealer.

The easiest way of avoiding these triggers is to stay away from the people, places, and situations causing them. Learn beforehand where a party will take place and who will attend it. If you notice any trigger, politely excuse yourself from the event.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Your Recovery Plan

Many people in your larger family circle may not be aware of your struggle. Thus, they may offer you alcohol or recreational drugs because they have no idea about your addiction. Those who care about you will not tempt you with any substance once you tell them that you are recovering from addiction.

Those who insist that “it’s just a drink” do not truly care about you. Thus, you can ignore them without worrying about hurting their feelings.

the holidays present many triggers for addiction relapse

4. Choose Retreats in Nature to Celebrate the Holidays

If you feel you cannot handle social gatherings without relapsing, here is a great idea from the doctors at our Fayetteville rehab center. Find a nature retreat, either in the mountains or by the sea, where you can enjoy a different kind of celebration.

It is a great opportunity to focus on yourself, set New Year resolutions, and rediscover the joy of doing simple things.

5. Keep a Non-Alcoholic Drink at Parties

For those who don’t want to miss Christmas dinner, here’s a very simple idea: always have a non-alcoholic drink in hand. People will usually offer you a drink when they don’t see a glass near you.

If anyone misses the clue, when they ask you if you want a drink, show them your glass and simply say “Thank you, I’m all set.”

6. Create New Traditions

If you cannot find support among family and friends for a trigger-free holiday season, find new ways to celebrate various occasions. For example, donate your time to those in need by volunteering for various charities.

Join motivational programs helping others who have just admitted that they have a problem seek help for their addiction. Find ways to be useful to those less fortunate than you, and enjoy the simple, but valuable happiness given by their gratitude.

7. Stay at Our Fayetteville Recovery Center During the Holidays

Finally, if you are newly out of a recovery program, you may consider staying away from all potential triggers. Our rehab facility can help you spend meaningful holidays in group sessions, enjoy various physical activities, or simply celebrate with us in a safe and trigger-free environment.

We’re Here to Help You Stay Sober During the Holiday Season!

If you worry that you may relapse during the holiday season, remember that you are not alone in your journey toward sobriety. The staff at our Fayetteville rehab center are available to help you.

Call us at 984-223-5341 to schedule an appointment and discuss your worries with a trusted and experienced recovery specialist!