How do you plan for relapse-free holidays? When maintaining your sobriety outside a rehab center, you must remember that relapse can happen without warning. Holidays are a time of celebration with many activities spent with friends and families. However, for people in recovery, it can also be a time of temptation to use again. Have a relapse prevention plan in place before the holidays come around.
If you’re spending the holidays in Florida, you shouldn’t need to search the term “substance abuse treatment near me” online when you feel triggered. Instead, call 833.551.2304 to speak with someone from Gulf Breeze Recovery’s caring and compassionate team about our addiction treatment programs and services in the Sunshine State.
How Do Relapse-Free Holidays Work?
Relapse doesn’t have to be a part of your holidays. Taking time to prepare for what could be stumbling blocks to your sobriety can help. Before the holiday bustle gets into full swing, consider what part of your typical holiday celebration most often leads to temptation for you:
- Is it those after-work happy hours that well-meaning friends encourage you to attend?
- Is it the family celebrations where food and alcohol are plentiful?
- Is it your alone time when it feels like everyone else is enjoying the holidays and you are sad and lonely?
- Is it the overwhelming rat race of rushing, shopping, and overextending your energy and bank account?
Whatever the case, plan how to handle these relapse triggers. If you’re going to be away from home and your typical addiction treatment team during the holidays, have local rehab centers’ phone numbers saved on your phone for emergencies. Better yet, ask a close friend or family member to keep you accountable and help you out if you need to leave the celebration to enact your relapse prevention plan.
How Do You Make a Relapse Prevention Plan for the Holidays?
Honestly evaluate the risk to your sobriety for each of the triggers that you expect—and even ones you think are unlikely to pop up. If an event is going to be extremely difficult or overwhelming for you, it is okay to skip it. You can also plan on not spending much time at the event. You can arrive late, wish everyone a happy holiday and leave early.
Remember not to take your thinking too seriously. You don’t have to follow a thought just because it pops into your head. Perhaps the thought might be, “I should be able to drink or use recreationally as all my friends do.” Instead of following the thought and the self-pity, remember that you are grateful to have found sobriety. You can let the thought come and go without putting action behind it.
You can also change your usual holiday traditions to fit your sober lifestyle better. Do something for others that you may have never done before—volunteer at a food pantry or soup kitchen, or ring bells for the Salvation Army. Be aware of becoming too tired, or too hungry, and how those things can affect your mood. Make your most important present be your presence—where you are truly present and enjoying the moment.
Practice Gratitude During the Holiday Months
Being grateful is important all year long, but around the holidays it can be especially so. Take a few moments anytime you notice feeling stressed to take a couple of deep breaths and mentally list five things for which you are grateful. Your list doesn’t have to impact the world, just as long as it is meaningful to you. Notice how you feel after your deep breaths and the brief time you spent being grateful.
Maintaining your sobriety through the holidays without a relapse doesn’t have to be painful. Make it your plan to enjoy relapse-free holidays with those you love.
Plan for Relapse-Free Holidays in Florida with the Help of Gulf Breeze Recovery
If you or someone you care about has an ongoing history of substance abuse and relapse, contact Gulf Breeze Recovery today at 833.551.2304 to learn more about our program, which has helped so many people overcome their addiction and embrace life. We help people not just to survive, but to thrive.