Tips for Recovery During the Holidays

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The holidays can be a stressful time of year for anyone and can be even more stressful if you are in recovery. Addiction is more pronounced during the holiday season, and when one individual is struggling with a substance use disorder, the entire family unit is affected. Family gatherings, hectic preparations, holiday shopping, financial stress, seasonal affective disorder, work parties where alcohol is flowing, unattainable New Year’s resolutions, and long holiday travel, all combined with the overwhelming effort of trying to please everyone around this time of year, can be a recipe for disaster for those in the grips of addiction. Many individuals delay seeking treatment for a substance use disorder until after the holidays, but often, this can make matters worse. Our culture places an incredible amount of emphasis on having the “perfect” holiday season. For individuals and their families who are battling addiction, this idea is not only stress-inducing; it is often unattainable. While seeking treatment during the holidays may be less than ideal, it is usually a better option than allowing a potential relapse to occur during a family gathering or holiday office party. 
Take time away from the stress and pressure of the holidays

Give the gift of recovery this holiday season by seeking treatment for your substance use disorder. Taking time away from the holiday season to focus on your health and wellness so you can live a happier life and be successful in your recovery is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. 
Sacrifice one holiday season for a lifetime of more

It may feel overwhelming to miss out on the holidays this year, but seeking treatment for your addiction this holiday season can allow you to enjoy many more holiday seasons to come. Sometimes it takes self-sacrifice to reach a healthy and prosperous road to recovery. 
Addiction can harm your family

Children and other family members will take notice of your actions associated with your substance use disorder. Whether it is acting out of control, abusive language, ignoring others, or acting out of character at a holiday gathering, these unhealthy patterns can take a toll on the entire family. Seeking help for your substance use disorder can help you and your family members create new, healthy holiday memories in the years to come. 
Holidays are temporary, but recovery is a lifetime

The holiday season is fleeting; it comes and goes before you know it. Soon enough, the tree will be taken down, family gatherings will be over, and New Year’s resolutions will be made, but you may still be struggling with your addiction. Seeking professional help for a substance use disorder can give you the coping skills and tools you need to be successful in recovery for the rest of your life. 
Treatment can help you avoid relapse

The holiday season is extremely triggering, and relapse can happen, especially when the stress levels are high. Seeking treatment during the holidays can help you avoid relapse, not only during this holiday season but also in the years to come. 
School is out for the holidays so take advantage to seek treatment 

Kids are out of school, and you most likely have some time off of work, so take advantage of this time to seek treatment for your substance abuse disorder. 
Be mindful about New Year’s resolutions

New Year’s resolutions can be detrimental to your mental health if you are not careful. Focus on New Year’s resolutions that are open-ended and manageable and stay clear from setting high expectations or only focusing on the results instead of appreciating the journey. It may be wise to set open-ended realistic goals for the New Year or to set daily, weekly, or monthly bite-size goals without focusing on New Year’s resolutions.
Create a healthy community

Treatment can create a chance to become actively involved in a positive and healthy community of individuals who are also in recovery. It is essential to have a supportive group of people who understand what you are going through and can give you sound advice while helping you practice your coping skills.

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