Find Some Helpful Tips On Your Road to Recovery Below!

Tips for Avoiding Relapse During the Holidays

The last several months of every year are a minefield for people who have struggled with harmful patterns of alcohol use. With more and more office parties, family gatherings, and social events on the calendar, opportunities for relapse abound.

If you are a recovering alcoholic or you are currently recovering, you know how hard it is to maintain sobriety and how easy it is to fall back into old habits during the holiday season. However, there is no need to fear. You are in control of your choices, and you have the power to protect yourself.

How to Safeguard Your Sobriety This Holiday Season

This year, there are six things you can do to protect the fruits of your hard work and set yourself up for success:

  1. Know yourself: Some of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal are your understanding of your own limitations and your willingness to act on them. If you know you cannot spend time with a certain group of people or in a particular environment, it is important to recognize this fact and be willing to clearly and definitively say “no” when the opportunity arises. You may be able to attend some holiday parties without facing insurmountable temptation, but it is always better to decline invitations to gatherings where you may be subjected to overwhelming pressure to drink.
  2. Take care of yourself: Your reasoning, critical thinking, emotional health, and will to remain sober all increase when you practice whole-person wellness by sleeping, exercising, eating well, maintaining work-life balance, and nurture healthy, uplifting relationships.
  3. Make an escape plan: There is nothing wrong with giving yourself an out, especially if you suspect you may be entering a tempting situation. Making plans to meet someone after a party, deciding to leave at a certain time, and otherwise structuring your time gives you a line to use (“I’m meeting a friend”), allows you to avoid staying too late, keeps you from having to battle pressure to drink while tired, and gives you the freedom to leave when you wish.
  4. Be prepared: If your attendance at an event is mandatory, you may not be able to duck out quite so easily. Such circumstances may warrant bringing your own drink or planning to spend time with a person or group who understands that you are not drinking and will not pressure you to do so. (At family events, avoiding alcohol may look like spending time at the kids table, playing football in the front yard, or spending time with a safe family member.)
  5. Decide what to say in advance: If drinking has been part of your normal life for a while, people may be surprised or confused that you aren’t consuming alcohol at company, family, and social events. You don’t have to disclose more about your struggle than you wish. It can reduce the potential for awkwardness if you already know what you’re going to say when people ask or pressure you to drink. (“I’m taking a special medication,” “I don’t drink anymore,” etc.)
  6. Get your hands dirty: Relapse is much easier if you’re idle or feeling down on yourself for struggling with temptation. This holiday season, avoid the classic relapse triggers (loneliness, negative emotions, idleness, shame, etc.) by treating it as an opportunity to serve. You can volunteer to help cook and clean at family gatherings, serve meals at a homeless shelter during your free time, spend time with a neighbor who is alone for the holiday, or find other creative ways to invest your time and energy in service of others. This will help you use your time constructively and mitigate personal feelings of frustration that may come up when you are facing down pressure to drink.
  7. Enroll in rehab for the holidays: There is no shame in doing whatever it takes to protect yourself, especially if you are in the early stages of recovery or have spent years cultivating good habits for long-term sobriety. If you are worried you will not be able to make it through the holiday season and you do not have the relational support you need, consider going to alcohol rehab or joining a new recovery support group.

Alcohol Rehabilitation Center in Scottsdale

At Acceptance Recovery Center, we provide alcohol addiction treatment and rehabilitation in Scottsdale. We are passionate about helping people like you do whatever it takes to achieve lasting sobriety. Whether you are seeking help for the first time or have experienced a relapse, we are here to give you the tools you need to achieve sobriety during the holidays and for years afterward. Connect with a member of our team as soon as possible to receive a free consultation and learn how we can help.

Call (844) 336-2250 today to speak to a staff member at our alcohol addiction recovery center in Scottsdale.