Holidays can be challenging for people in recovery. Managing your expectations can help you have an anxiety-free holiday.
Here are some things to keep top of mind to help you enjoy the holiday with your family and friends.
• Make a plan for the day. Think ahead about where you are going and the people who will be there. It will make it easier for you to manage emotions, expectations, and potential triggers.
• Be prepared to feel a little lonely. Even if you’re surrounded by loved ones, holidays can be a very lonely time for someone in recovery. These feelings are normal, and they will pass.
• Treat yourself. Thanksgiving is a time to indulge. Enjoy the food and desserts, and the family and friends. Find ways to make yourself feel rewarded, without involving alcohol or drugs.
• Be open about your recovery. Your loved ones will support you and you’ll feel a thousand pounds lighter.
• Remind yourself that drugs and alcohol aren’t the answer to your problems, and drinking or using won’t fix anything.
• Plan your lifelines in advance. Have someone you can call, and let them know you might need time to talk.
• If you find yourself overwhelmed at any point, politely excuse yourself.
• Have an exit plan. Park where you can easily get out when you’re ready to go.
Reflect on what your recovery means to you. A holiday is simply a day, just like any other day. It will pass and you will remain strong, resolute, and relieved to have made it through the emotional challenge.
Maintaining recovery during a holiday is a huge challenge and a great achievement.
Enjoy the day and congratulate yourself on all your hard work.