The annual holiday season brings stress to many people and even entire families. We all reflect fondly on this time of year, but also look forward to the season’s end to get back into a routine. If you’re newly sober, one concern you likely have is how to avoid relapse during Thanksgiving. Is this easier said than done?
The Holidays Bring Predictable Hurdles
The holidays are one thing, for certain. That is, they are predictable. There are certain things we all can count on at this time of year. Those include being invited to more events, spending time with people we care about, spending more money than we should, eating more food than we need and setting resolutions to prepare for the new year ahead.
Two common threads exist in all of these things. Those are stress and exposure to alcohol and other substances. So, as you learn in relapse prevention, what do you need to do to prepare for the holidays? Do you know how to avoid relapse during Thanksgiving, December events and into the New Year?
The simple way to stay ahead of relapse risk and prevent as many problems as possible is to maintain a relapse prevention plan. That’s right, the best methods for how to avoid relapse during Thanksgiving is to plan ahead for problems and how you will react to those problems.
Prepare for Your Holiday Triggers and Temptations
As you approach Thanksgiving or other holidays of the season, think about what triggers you toward relapse. Some common triggers many people share include shopping, high expectations of others, crazy schedules, lack of sleep and even holiday depression.
So during this season, remember despite needing to run many errands and visit many people, you should not take on more than you can handle. Say no to events if needed, to allow yourself time to breathe, relax and regroup. Lower your expectations for yourself and cut your “to do” list. Give yourself time every single day to relax and rest.
Stay organized by maintaining a rigid schedule. Never sacrifice your own sleep or self-care. Make a list of things you “need” to do and approach these in an organized, thoughtful manner, instead of feeling overwhelmed. Eat healthy foods as part of a balanced diet and maintain your fitness routine.
Remember that television commercials and social media do not measure up to reality. If you do not have family or cannot spend time with them, treat yourself well, spend time with friends or your support group and remember good self-care.
Finally, simply avoid being around substances. Do not expose yourself to alcohol or drugs, in the first place. This sounds logical. But everyone knows that the holiday season is a bounty of chances to engage in substance abuse for many people.
How to Avoid Relapse During Thanksgiving and Well Beyond
As you can see, preparation helps you avoid relapse. You can also seek treatment during the holidays if you need it. Programs to look for in a quality treatment program include:
- Residential and outpatient rehab
- Drug detox program
- Aftercare program
- A mix of addiction therapy services
- Holistic methods and healthy activities program
For more information about how to avoid relapse during Thanksgiving, call Kemah Palms Recovery at 866.604.1873.