It is no secret that the holiday season can present challenges to recovery, especially in early sobriety. Developing an effective relapse prevention plan can help you manage and overcome holiday triggers and enable you to engage in the spirit of the season.
Upon completion of your initial treatment plan, Valley Hope helps you make the best start on the road to recovery. Follow your stepdown treatment plans such as Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and continue your support programs including Continuing Care, AA and NA. Naturally, these efforts can increase your chances of staying sober. Each piece of additional treatment and support only strengthens your stand against relapse. During the holidays, AA and NA have many gatherings that serve as safe and smart alternatives to alcohol-infused parties. They can also provide a more meaningful experience.
In addition, share your plan with your family and friends. Communicate with them so they can help and support your recovery. In addition, be mindful during holiday planning. A supportive family can make the difference between recovery and relapse. Family members need to get involved in their own recovery from codependency. Then, you and your loved ones can work together as a team to recover together and avoid holiday relapse.
A big part of relieving holiday-induced stress comes from self-care. Take care of yourself by eating healthy (maybe the most difficult task), getting enough rest and staying active or exercising daily. Avoid situations that you know are trigger risks and keep an AA or NA meeting schedule within reach.
A wonderful thing about recovery involves experiencing the holidays with clarity. Open yourself up to all of the magic and joy inherent in the season. Create fresh holiday-inspired traditions for yourself, friends and family. Plan a day with sober friends. Try your hand at perfecting Christmas cookies. Go to your favorite meeting and get support from your recovery network. Play reindeer games, create some Christmas crafts, watch Christmas movies or listen to carols. You can also provide a safe, fun and sober space for your friends in recovery by celebrating the true spirit of the season.
Remember that recovery provides the opportunity to enhance your holiday experience in incredible, powerful and hopeful ways. Make every effort to leverage your ongoing support community and recovery plan. It will empower you to celebrate the season while staying focused on your recovery journey and avoiding relapse.
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