Even though the holiday season can be a fun and exciting time, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. Especially for someone who recently left an inpatient treatment center, the holidays can be a challenge, and the risk of relapse may be high. Knowing how to prepare for the holidays in recovery could save you from falling off the wagon.
How to Avoid Relapse Over the Holidays
The holidays can be a triggering time for many reasons. Holiday gatherings often expose you to alcohol or even drug use, which makes it more difficult to maintain your sobriety. In addition, stress and a packed schedule can leave you feeling overwhelmed and raise the likelihood of relapse. Creating a holiday relapse prevention plan in advance can help you enjoy the holiday season while also maintaining your sobriety.
Know Your Limits
Everyone is different. Relapse triggers can vary from person to person, and some people handle stress better than others. It is important to know your own limits and when to draw the line. As the holidays approach, take some time to think about the situations that are most likely to cause you problems. Set clear boundaries for yourself based on these potential holiday relapse triggers ahead of time so that you can avoid putting yourself in a situation that could jeopardize your sobriety.
Stay Active in Your Recovery
Preparing for the holidays in recovery may mean getting more involved with your aftercare. This programming can include support groups, recovery meetings, peer recovery coaching, and even online substance use treatment. While aftercare programming is recommended for anyone in addiction recovery, doing more during the holidays can provide you with extra support and help keep you on track. Look into these meetings and resources now so that you can start building them into your schedule before holiday festivities take over.
Ask About Drugs & Alcohol in Advance
If you are considering attending any events during the holidays, ask about the presence of drugs and alcohol before you make a firm commitment. If drugs or alcohol will be involved and you feel uncomfortable, it is okay to say no. Your sobriety should come first.
Have an Exit Plan
A good holiday relapse prevention strategy is to always have an exit plan. When you attend any event or gathering, there is always a chance that you will face unexpected stress or triggers. While using techniques from drug addiction therapies can help, sometimes the best option is to leave the situation if you need to. If you go to an event, drive yourself so you can leave at any time and always have a trusted friend that you can turn to for help.
Recovery is not an easy journey, so it is important to do everything you can to maintain your sobriety. If you believe you are at risk of relapse, seek professional care immediately. Getting back into treatment could give you the support and guidance you need to avoid relapsing over the holidays. Knowing how to prevent relapse over the holidays and actually being able to follow your holiday relapse prevention plan are entirely different. If you do stumble in your recovery journey, our Texas addiction treatment center is here to help. To learn more about us at Texas Recovery Center, do not hesitate to reach out to us today.