As the holiday season is upon us, how do people in recovery navigate the potential roadblocks and pitfalls that threaten their sobriety? Perhaps you have recently been discharged from alcohol addiction treatment or are still enrolled in an outpatient program as the holidays approach. In this case, some strategies will support you as you enjoy the season without relapsing. If you have been thinking about starting your recovery journey, this is a good time to do it.
Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC) is a Pennsylvania alcohol rehab that offers compassionate, evidence-based alcohol addiction treatment programs. We offer both inpatient and outpatient programs. If you are considering entering rehab prior to the holidays, reach out to learn more about what we offer, starting with medical detox. Our online form is a simple way to make contact, or you can simply call 844.442.8673.
3 Techniques for Staying Sober During the Holidays
During the approaching season, there are many strategies for maintaining sobriety. Below are three that are tried and true:
1. Stay Closely Connected to Your Sober Network
The most important thing you can do to avoid relapse during the holidays is to let your support group support you. There is powerful evidence that people with shared experiences on the same journey help others in recovery. Your sober network can support you in a range of ways, such as:
- Make plans with others in recovery.
- Attend your sobriety meetings, whether 12-step, SMART Sobriety, Women for Sobriety, or others.
- Ask family members and close friends if they can support you by not drinking when you are with them.
2. Avoid Relapse Triggers and Other Known Risks
The holidays are full of landmines, but the good news is you probably know where most of them are. If there are places where you used to drink, steer clear. If there are people you used to drink with, don’t go to their parties. If family members and friends lack all boundaries, don’t sit with them at holiday parties. You don’t need to listen to your overbearing cousin lecture about how addiction is a choice or ask you how much you want a drink right now.
One of the best ways to avoid risks is to make detailed plans with safe friends. Know which parties and dinners are going to be safe and fun and which to decline politely. If everyone you used to know is going to the same New Year’s party, take a road trip with a loyal, sober sidekick or have a substance-free party of your own.
3. Give of Yourself
One of the best ways to boost your feel-good brain chemicals without partaking in alcohol or other substances is to do good work. Consider volunteering with an organization that means something to you or helps an underprivileged population. Some ideas might be:
- Serve meals (including Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners) at a shelter.
- Walk dogs or play with the animals at your local animal shelter
- Volunteer at a literacy center to teach others how to read
- Help set up for events, serve refreshments, or hand out materials at your church, mosque, or synagogue
- Offer to shovel snow or blow leaves for your neighbors who are infirm, traveling, or simply stressed out
Connect to the best in yourself while staying sober and making a difference for those in need.
Seek Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
People who want to stay sober during the holidays do not have to do so alone. There are countless others in your shoes, people who want to enjoy the holiday season without substance use.
If you want to learn more about how to avoid relapse, reach out to PAATC today. We are an alcohol rehab center in Pennsylvania with 60 years of experience helping people with addictions to alcohol and other substances.
Whether you have already experienced alcohol rehab, are still in rehab, or think it’s time to begin alcohol addiction treatment, we have answers to your questions and can offer support. Call us at 844.442.8673 or submit our online form to connect with one of our professional, compassionate staff members.