It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or, is it? If you’re struggling with addiction, the holidays may induce stress. This stress may be caused by travel, financial difficulties, strained relationships, or something else. If you have trouble managing holiday stress, keep reading to learn about what you can do to avoid a relapse.
Addiction during the Holidays
The holidays can be especially difficult for addicts, not only due to the added stress, but also because there’s a lot of parties. It can be difficult to handle the temptation of holiday traditions and parties. You may be tempted by peer pressure to drink or use drugs. You may feel disconnected from the people you normally rely on for support because you’re unable to participate in the holiday activities you used to.
If you believe you may relapse, seek out addiction treatment services before it’s too late. Only an addiction specialist can help you get back on track. Addiction treatment is a process, and the treatment you receive should acknowledge this process and help you return to sobriety in steps. It’s also important to create an ongoing plan for sobriety. These things will ensure your future success. Also, if your friends or family members don’t respect your sobriety, it may be necessary to avoid socializing with them.
How to Cope With Your Addiction
According to PsychCentral.com, the first key point to help you cope is to “Identify your stressors and your inner struggles.” In order to stop yourself from relapsing, you need to take note of what causes the stress that leads to relapse. For example, are you depressed because you’re single? Or, are you coping with past trauma?
Reducing stress, employing support from friends and family members (see below), and reducing temptation are all important to your sobriety. It’s a good idea to limit your exposure to situations that may trigger bad behavior, but you won’t recognize those situations if you don’t identify your stressors.
How Your Friends and Family Can Help
As previously mentioned, your friends and family should honor your sobriety. If they’re drinking excessively, that could be a trigger for you. Gently remind them that you’re sober, but that it’s not easy. If they respect you they’ll refrain from excessive use around you. If they don’t stop, then they are attempting to cause you to relapse and you may be better off without that negativity in your life.
When your friends and family team up to help mitigate your holiday stress this can help you resist temptation. Remind them that it’s good for you to have outlets to express your stress in a healthy way. This leaves you less likely to revert back to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Ask those you care about to start alternative holiday traditions that promote sobriety. Having parties or starting holiday traditions that promote sobriety will help to reduce temptation and create more inclusive festivities. Reducing stress and temptation while providing support are key to navigating the holiday season.
Alcoholism and the Holidays
While they are meant to be a joyous time, the holidays can be a real struggle for anyone effected by addiction. For that reason the right balance of support, planning, limiting of temptation, and the implementation of healthy habits is essential. This is supposed to be a joyous time of year for everyone, don’t let your struggles with addiction ruin it for you.