Whether you have recently decided to cut down on drinking or you have been in recovery for a while, sobriety is the best route to go during the holidays for several reasons: you maintain yours and others’ safety, you are clear-minded to make level-headed decisions, you can be fully present in the moment with loved ones, you can be fully present and aware of your own emotions and experience, you can more readily handle with upsetting feelings, situations or events, and so much more. Making the decision to remain sober during the holidays can be very simple with this easy checklist:
- Do you have a schedule already prepped for the day? A break in routine could cause additional stress and anxiety. Stick to your normal schedule as closely as possible.
- Do you have supportive friends or family members that you can rely on? If you’re visiting people, already knowing whom you can rely on and talk to may help ease your anxiety. Have a list of people that you can call to share your feelings with.
- Have you identified what triggers you may run into during the holidays? Address them beforehand to yourself before you leave. Admit if something is bothering you, and tell a trusted friend beforehand if you can. By acknowledging your trigger before it even arrives, you take the power away from it.
- What is your action plan for managing these triggers? It may involve certain respectful phrases if it involves others; it may involve retreating to a safe, quiet place; it may involve leaving. Whatever it is, having a plan will help you better manage feelings that could have led to making unwise decisions.
- Have you given yourself permission to leave early or stay late if you want? Giving yourself permission will make it that much easier to enact. In addition, recognizing which places you should avoid and following through on avoiding them is okay if it protects your mental health and sobriety.
- Have you recognized the wonderful gifts you already have in life? Praising the joys that you have – that do not include alcohol – are ways to stay mindfully on track. This may include safety, health, family, job, recovery, pets, and so much more.
- Can you express your gratitude to your loved ones this holiday season? If not, even writing a letter expressing your feelings towards them can help you to say what’s on your heart and get the words out there. You could either mail it to them, keep it or throw it away – writing the words out will lift some weight off your chest.
New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment centers. We pride ourselves on providing excellent care and support, and will be there with you every step of the way. Make the decision to seek help this holiday season. It will be the best gift you could ever give yourself. Call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation.