An effective aftercare program will include instructions on transitioning back to regular life more easily, allowing you to surround yourself with the people, things, and activities you love. Gulf Breeze Recovery is committed to complete recovery, including creating a personalized plan to support our clients during key transitions. Call our team at 833.551.2304 to begin your journey towards a better life today.
Enjoying a Sober Christmas
Remember, the goal of recovery is not simply to abstain from drugs or alcohol; it is to restore enjoyment in your greater life, which will likely include holiday celebrations.
It can be tricky to circumvent all temptations without feeling deprived. Rather than focusing on what to avoid, set your sights on proactive steps so that you can enjoy yourself while minimally taxing your willpower. Some effective tactics include:
- Be selective in what events or festivities you attend, making sure to prioritize those that are truly important to you.
- Think of your stress level as a bank account that you are trying to spend down as much as possible. If you know you’ll be entering a stress-evoking situation like a party, make sure you counter the expense with a stress-reduction activity, like watching a favorite film, attending a yoga class, or any other healthy endeavor that makes you feel relaxed.
- See if you can be an active, rather than passive, attendee. For example, you might volunteer to help prepare or serve food, host some family-friendly activities for younger guests, or lend your skills as a DJ.
- Whenever possible, let the host know that you are in recovery. This way, they can quietly support your efforts by including non-alcoholic options, labeling food ingredients appropriately, etc.
- Have a very clear idea of what you can and can’t consume, and mentally inventory the treats you can enjoy. Be mindful of what your tolerance for sweets is, as well as any nutrition advice you received while in treatment.
- Have an escape plan at the ready should unanticipated triggers become overwhelming, or should you accidentally consume alcohol or drugs. These are not failures to maintain sobriety but learning opportunities that you can use to avoid similar situations moving forward.
Additional Sober Living Tips for the Holiday Season
Remember the adage, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” Although you may still feel underconfident in your ability to remain sober during the holidays, you owe it to yourself to apply all of the techniques acquired in rehab.
Sometimes, the most effective tips are small, unnoticeable actions but will do a great deal to preserve your willpower. Any time you put some of these into action, acknowledge that you are actively working towards a happier, better life:
- Realize that hosts, when offering you drinks, are generally trying to ensure you feel welcome. Try holding a non-alcoholic drink in your hands, such as a favorite mocktail, or even a drink posing as liquor, such as a glass of water with ice cubes or a glass of tonic (hold the gin).
- Practice some portable stress-reduction techniques that you can use to diffuse anxiety wherever you go. For example, you might try inhaling for four counts, holding for seven counts, and breathing out for eight.
- Finally, even if you don’t think you’ll need it, have an escape plan ready. You can always excuse yourself to take a phone call (real or not), go outside to get some fresh air or leave the moment you’ve had enough.
Build Your Aftercare Plans at Gulf Stream Recovery
Successful aftercare includes a plan for returning to the parts of life that bring you joy. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we are here to help support your transition back to regular life. The best holidays may still be ahead of you. Contact our team at 833.551.2304 to begin the healing process today, so you may enjoy many holidays to come.