The holidays are a time of joy and thanksgiving. For people in recovery, however, the holidays may bring back unpleasant memories of the past or pose a threat to their sobriety. By planning your holiday season in advance, you can enjoy this time to the full without missing a step in your recovery. Here are a few tips for staying on track as you shop and fellowship with others during the holidays.
Put the Holidays in Perspective
Yes, this is a special time of year – a time of giving, celebrations and spending time with family and friends. Other than that, however, the holidays are just a part of the year, like other days before and after. They shouldn’t be treated any differently when it comes to recovery. By making sobriety a priority, even during the holidays, you won’t get sidetracked or lose sight of your recovery goals.
Keep the Past in the Past
Don’t let the past taint your present during the holidays. You’ve come a long way to change your life and make amends for mistakes of the past. Learn what you can from your mistakes and move on. Focus on making new, happy memories this holiday season with those you love.
Get Support if You Need It
The holidays can play on your emotions when you’re in recovery, making it hard to stay focused on your goals. When temptations arise or you’re feeling low, contact someone in your support system to pick me up. It helps to have people in your life you can trust for help and support.
Have an Exit Strategy
Holiday shopping can lead to holiday lunches or dinners where alcoholic drinks are the norm. Make it easier for yourself by having an exit plan to escape situations that tempt you to join the drinking. Bring your own transportation so you can leave at a moment’s notice or go shopping with a sober friend so you can help each other stay on track.
Choose Your Events and Friends Wisely
Be selective in the events you attend and people you associate with during the holidays. Being around people who aren’t on board with your sobriety can pose a risk to your recovery and threaten the new life you want to build for you and your family. By safeguarding your sobriety during the holidays, you’re investing in your future.
For heartwarming holiday gifts for a loved one in recovery, shop My 12 Step Store.