Happy Holidays to all reading this blog — present, past and prospective clients. We all know that the holiday season is particularly tough for individuals in recovery, but applying the skills learned during treatment can help you in keeping your sobriety intact. Yes, you can make it till January and beyond. Just prepare yourself by planning your sobriety strategies. Here are ten tips to help you stay sober during the holidays:
Sober Holidays Tip #1: Remind yourself every morning how good it feels to be sober and how hard you worked to get where you are.
Sober Holidays Tip #2: It’s okay to have a quiet Holiday Season. It is a good time to get rest and take time to meditate. Maintain your recovery routine as much as possible.
Sober Holidays Tip #3: If you’re traveling, go to meetings wherever you are. Find a meeting long before you get there. DON’T SKIP THIS ONE.
Sober Holidays Tip #4: If you’re not traveling plan your own sober celebrations and don’t forget your AA or NA meetings.
Sober Holidays Tip #5: Plan activities other than sitting around especially if your family holiday parties involve sitting and drinking. Maybe planning to stay with family for a while and then attending an event or volunteering at a shelter is a better option for you. Holiday concerts, sports events, outdoor winter activities; there are plenty of things to do during this time of the year. Grab a supportive friend and enjoy your time.
Sober Holidays Tip #6: Limit the amount of time you spend with people who you know can make you crazy and “push your buttons”, especially if it is going to be the first time you will see them after you have gone through treatment.
Sober Holidays Tip #7: Reach out to newcomers, even if you are a newcomer yourself. You can support each other. If you can’t afford lunch or dinner go for just a cup of coffee?
Sober Holidays Tip #8: It’s okay to let people know you are now in recovery, but of course it is your choice whether or not you want to tell people. When friends or new people you meet at parties don’t know you’ve given up alcohol, they may lead you into temptation without intending to.
Sober Holidays Tip #9: Make a plan for dealing with cravings. By now you may already know what works for you. Calling a sponsor, counselor or family member that can support you, working out at the gym, reading recovery books, and eating your favorite food or whatever else has worked for you in the past are all options that you have to keep in mind for when you feel tempted by your cravings.
Sober Holidays Tip #10: Finally Practice TAMERS every day. Don’t let up on your brain healing activities. Practice TAMERS every day:
- Think about recovery, Talk about recovery
- Act on recovery, connect with others
- Meditate and Minimize stress
- Exercise and Eat well
We wish you a safe and sober holiday season close to the ones that love and support you. Congratulations to all of our graduates. Keep up the good work and don’t forget to let us know how you are doing at our new FACEBOOK page: https://www.facebook.com/floridacenterforrecovery/
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.