Holidays can be tough. Family get-togethers can reignite ongoing arguments. Old friends can come back in town and try to pick up right where they left off. The stress of these and other factors can make it difficult to maintain sobriety. These mental triggers as well as old and familiar circumstances that had previously led a person to use aren’t always able to be avoided. In that case, it’s essential to pay attention and navigate these situations in a way that won’t lead you back into old habits.
1. Make a Plan
Give yourself some time each morning to make a plan. Assess where you are going to go, who you might see, and what challenges might come up throughout the day. Envisioning possible scenarios better prepares you for when challenging circumstances arise.
A plan also gives you something to work towards. Staying focused on your plan occupies your mind when it could be thinking of other, more harmful things. This could include many things like a daily reading of the Word, exercise schedule, meal plan, or even just what you are going to do that day. Focus on your plan as much as possible throughout your day. And then work on a new one when it’s over.
Christian rehab centers can give you the support you need to maintain sobriety through the holidays. Visit S2L Recovery today.
2. Assess the Risks
Evaluate how tempted you might be in a proposed situation to return to old habits. Not all situations will have the same amount of risk. Reuniting with old friends, for instance, might be a high risk of returning to old behaviors while seeing family would only include a very small risk.
Weigh these risks against where you are in your recovery walk. If you are fairly new to recovery and not very confident in how you’re feeling, avoid high risk scenarios. Temptation is real and you have the ability to estimate how you might feel in a given situation. If it seems like the temptation might be more than you can handle, avoid the situation.
3. Take Care of Yourself
A major aspect maintaining mental strength is how you are feeling physically. It’s very easy to let your physical health slip during the holidays. It’s cold, so it’s difficult to find the motivation to exercise. There are many food-filled parties, so it’s difficult to eat clean.
Exercise and proper diet need to remain a priority. Our mood is directly related to our overall health, and an unhealthy mood leads to unhealthy choices. Stick to your routine. Whether it’s going to bed and waking up at a certain time, favorite healthy meals, or an exercise regimen, don’t let the holidays take a toll on your physical health. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Eat well.
4. Find Those that Appreciate You
Reach out to your like-minded friends. They might need you just as much as you need them. Getting together can bolster each one of you and allow you to feed off the strength of each other. Knowing you aren’t alone in the battle against holiday triggers can be a big help. Finding a Christian rehab center like S2L Recovery can offer more support.
Seek out other friends of yours that might not be in recovery but are supportive of your fight to stay sober. A sympathetic friend or group at a party will also help you avoid the temptations that might be all around you at these events.
5. Alleviate Stress
Stress can be a major trigger for many people. And the holidays can be a very stressful time. Whether this stress comes from interpersonal confrontations or simply the implications and traditions of the season, find ways to lessen it. Whether this is taking a break to walk into a different room and take some deep breaths, or starting each day with meditation, find what works for you. The ability to work through the stress of the holiday season will give you a great tool against the triggers that come along with it.
This is of the most importance. Remember who you are in Christ. Your identity is not found in your past struggle or your current situation. At S2L Recovery they teach a curriculum that instructs growth in your walk and also to be rooted in the promises of God.
Remind yourself that through the stresses and triggers of holidays the answer is not to turn to the cheap substitute (drugs or alcohol) for relief. The answer for these things is found in the comfort and peace that is promised in God’s Word. Make sure you are staying plugged in to godly fellowship, His Word, prayer, and taking action toward what God has called you to everyday.
S2L Recovery is one of the most expert Christian rehab centers in America. Visit them today to see how they can help you.