Addiction Recovery During the Holidays


Alcohol recovery during the holidays can be a challenging time due to social pressure and stress. Learn how to put your recovery first during the holidays here.

The holidays can be a stressful and challenging time for nearly anyone. If you're in alcohol addiction recovery, you probably already know that those challenges can be magnified. There can be a lot of pressure when it comes to holiday parties, social events, and family time, but there are ways to make the season easier and more manageable.

With a few adjustments, you can get through this time of the year with a focus on joy and connection...Here's what you need to know.

Don’t Skimp on Sleep

When life gets busy and we get stressed, one of the first things we tend to do is cut down on sleep. Although it may seem like those extra hours of “productivity” aren’t that big of a deal, the truth is we pay for the lost sleep in a massive way. “Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day,” says Dr. Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep

With travel, the disruption to regular schedules, and more social events, your regular self-care routine may be compromised during this season, but do your best not to compromise on sleep. If there’s one thing to stay vigilant about, this is it. Keeping a consistent bedtime and wake time are key to regulating your nervous system and keeping your stress hormone levels in check. 

Remember: if you can’t make the day good, make it short!

Have an Exit Strategy

Consider arriving at the party a little bit later than others, and make sure that you have an exit strategy in place if you feel triggered or uncomfortable. Connect with a sober friend to accompany you to the gathering, or be available for you via text if you need to reach out. Be prepared and bring along some alcohol-free beverage options, or view the menu ahead of time to scope out Mocktail selections. The most important part of having a plan is that you feel comfortable expressing it to the people around you.

Be Honest About Your Triggers

While you may want to participate in certain gatherings or traditions, it’s important to be honest about what your addiction triggers are, and to take responsibility for avoiding them and protecting your sobriety. Remember: Just because it’s too overwhelming to go to the company party this year doesn’t mean you’ll be in the same place next year. Honoring where you are today is how you set yourself up for long-term success.

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Say 'No' When You Need To

It is more than okay to say no, especially to being invited to places you aren't comfortable with, or to someone who's trying to offer you a drink. You don't owe anyone an explanation, and genuine friends will want to see you succeed and be healthy. If you say no and that's not respected, you may want to use your exit strategy to leave the situation. Remember, “No” is a complete sentence. And, you don’t ever have to go to that party!

Continue Attending Sobriety Support Meetings

Even more than other times of the year, sobriety support  groups are a valuable part of staying healthy and strong during the holiday season.

With The Luckiest Club, you can experience all that online alcohol support groups have to offer. In addition to hosting 40 meetings every week, we also have a book club, a running club, dance parties, a 24/7 online community, and subgroups based on geographies and interests, all of which are available to help members both get sober and stay sober.

We also offer a 90-day program called The Sober 90, which is designed to provide resources, support, and community for anybody in early sobriety, and those looking for additional stability in their sober journey.

Continuing your recovery during the holidays is possible, and can be made much easier when you know you're not alone. If you are looking for a community to support you along your journey, please consider joining us in The Luckiest Club.

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