The Holiday Season | Doesn’t Have to Suck!
The holiday season can be one of the most festive and joyous times of the year, but for many people it can also be one of the most difficult. Individuals contending with depression, substance abuse, and other conditions often struggle the most around the holidays. The shorter days and longer nights don’t help, and the holidays, while joyful for many, are an inherently stressful time, when people change their habits and patterns of sleep and exercise, eat and drink more, and interact with the world differently than they do the rest of the year. Please pick from our top 10 11 Holiday Sobriety Tips below.
The holidays can be especially difficult for people who are trying to stay sober. Holiday parties and get-togethers often involve liberal amounts of alcohol, and frequently freely available, which can provide a hefty dose of temptation, especially when combined with the stress of the season and the pressures that sometimes come with family interactions.
Fortunately, while sobriety may be more difficult to manage around the holidays, it is far from a hopeless situation, and there are several tips that can help you avoid temptation this holiday season.
1. Take Care of Yourself – With all the demands that come with the holiday season, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Slow down, and give yourself some quiet time every day. Don’t overindulge in snacks and other foods that you don’t normally eat, and make sure that you get plenty of rest and exercise.
2. Plan Your Time – Knowing what you’re going to be doing in advance can help prevent negative dead time, and also reduce your stress. Knowing what you’re going to be doing next keeps you from worrying.
3. Holiday Parties – If you’re going to be attending parties where alcohol will be served, take along a supportive sober friend. Having someone to talk to and help keep you accountable can be a lifesaver. If you do go to a party, plan an “escape route,” an alternate activity that you can do if you start to feel uncomfortable, such as going out for coffee or catching a movie.
4. Talk to Someone – The holidays are a good time to reinforce your support structure. Make sure that you have the phone numbers of supportive friends and family on hand at all times, and don’t hesitate to call them if you need to talk.
5. Start New Traditions – A lot of the holidays are about traditions, and that can be a trap to lead you back into old habits. Try starting new traditions this year! Host a party for recovering friends, or buy a new board game to play with your family!
6. Avoid Bad Memories – The holidays can also stir up a lot of memories, both good and bad. Avoid things that remind you of bad times, including reruns of old movies or songs that have negative associations.
7. Know What You’ll Order – If you go out during the holiday season, odds are you’re going to be offered a drink sooner or later. Know what you’ll say, when the time comes. No need to launch into a lengthy explanation, just have an order for a soda or a cup of tea ready.
8. Volunteer – Charities have an increased need around the holiday season, which makes it a great time to give back to your community. Volunteering your time can not only help others, but it can help you, as well!
9. Ask for Support – Your closest friends and family members will be accommodating during the holidays. Knowing this will give you the strength to ask for their help or support during trying times.
10. Enjoy Yourself – It can be all too easy to get caught up in the chaos of the season, especially when you’re struggling, but remember that the holidays are supposed to be fun. So, try to enjoy the moment that you’re in, rather than worrying about the past or the future.
11. Holiday Music that Doesn’t Suck – For something entirely different, check out the edgy “Wired For Music ~ Holiday Music Playlist” thread at BlogSpot It’s a mix of Christmas music, winter music, weird and wonderful underground music, and all of it doesn’t suck.