This year, you have given your loved ones the greatest gift of all: your sobriety. Still, the holidays can be stressful, so it’s important to safeguard the progress you have made. Below are six practical tips for getting through the holiday season and protecting your sobriety.
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1)- Plan Your Support Network
Limit stressful situations. For the social events that you do attend, plan ahead. This may mean that you attend an AA meeting or arrange for a trusted friend to pick you up before attnending a work event.
2)- Talk Openly with Your Sponsor
Talk with your sponsor, family, AA members or counselor about how you are feeling this holiday season. Keep the lines of communication open so that you’re regularly releasing negative emotions and avoiding isolation.
3)- Give Back to Others
One of the best ways to safeguard your sobriety is by helping others. This is a wonderful spiritual opportunity that you can learn and grow from. Bring hot chocolate to a neighbor who is confined. Serve a warm meal at a homeless shelter. “Adopt” a child for the holidays.
4)- Take Care of Yourself
The holidays can knock you off track because you’re probably not following your routine as much. Reconnect with yourself and loved ones at the end of each day. Maintain your spirituality. Eat your meals. Go to sleep at the same time every night.
5)- Know What You’re Drinking
If you attend a social gathering, be proactive. It helps to have a drink in your hand so that people don’t continue asking you. Also make sure that you keep track of your drink and what is going in it. Others may not know your situation and end up adding alcohol.
6)- Don’t Skip Your Meetings
If you’re planning on traveling to see loved ones, go to meetings while you’re away. Find out where the meetings are held ahead of time, this way, you can easily attend them if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Family have good intentions, but they can drive you up the wall!
Remember, you have already given the best possible gift. Refrain from overcommitting yourself or setting unrealistic expectations. Relax, enjoy the time with family and focus on moving forward in your recovery.