Managing holiday stress can be challenging during a typical holiday season, doubly so during your first year in recovery. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, our comprehensive approach includes an anxiety treatment program, allowing you to return to your regular life armed with more healthful (and effective) coping mechanisms than alcohol or drugs. Call our team today at 833.551.2304 to learn how we can help you rediscover the joy of the season and help you feel confident in your ability to make positive decisions all year long.
Tips for Managing Holiday Stress Your First Year
As the expression goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” To circumvent temptations to drink or take drugs during holiday festivities, you’ll want to enter potentially difficult situations having done the following in advance:
- Try to mentally inventory any places, such as certain holiday gatherings, where you have a history of consuming drugs or alcohol in the past.
- Lower your overall need to expend excess willpower by declining the least important and/or least meaningful invites.
- Whenever appropriate, don’t hesitate to let your host know that you are in recovery, allowing them the opportunity to prepare alcohol-free alternatives for you.
- Consider what you will do instead of drinking or taking drugs, and plan how you can keep yourself busy in socially-acceptable ways.
- Have an escape plan ready to go if you find yourself challenged by cravings.
Additional Stress Management Techniques
In general, the rule of thumb is to lower your potential stress load in every way possible. Sometimes, surprisingly easy methods can help enormously. For example:
- Decrease your stress before you go by planning a massage or other spa treatment before the gathering.
- Practice a quick form of stress management that you can take wherever you go, such as excusing yourself to the restroom for a few quick rounds of deep breathing.
- Always keep a non-alcoholic drink in your hand, preventing you from needing to decline drinks every time they are offered.
- Volunteer to spend time with the younger guests at a party or family gathering. Plan some activities that will keep all of your hands busy (like cookie decorating, tree trimming, taking the children to see a holiday film, etc.)
It is important to remember that recovery is a process, and things might become surprisingly difficult without warning. For example, hearing a certain song playing over the radio or driving by a specific location may trigger you in ways you didn’t anticipate. Having well-thought-out, tangible tools ready to go means that you won’t be caught off guard when this happens.
Always ask for help right away when you need it. Make sure to save contact information on your phone for anyone you might need to reach out to in a moment of weakness or even if you find yourself drinking or taking drugs.
Finally, suppose you feel a great deal of anxiety or trepidation entering the holiday season. In that case, you’ll want to reconnect with your support team, as well as any counselors or therapists that are participating in your aftercare. In some instances, they may advise that you avoid a potentially triggering situation this year, such as meeting up with friends or family members that cause you tremendous stress before you are ready.
Our Anxiety Treatment Program at Gulf Breeze Recovery
Remember, the greater goal of recovery is not simply to have you abstain from alcohol or drugs but also to allow you to re-engage in your life. This is a learning process for all, but you can return to the activities and people you love more smoothly, armed with a great recovery plan. Our anxiety treatment program at Gulf Breeze Recovery can help you enter the holiday season a new person, ready to enjoy your life to the fullest. Contact us at 833.551.2304 to begin the journey today.