Holiday stress can affect anyone – in fact, it’s probably something most adults start feeling around Thanksgiving. There are decorations to put up, presents to buy, food to prepare, places to go and people to see. It can be overwhelming for anyone, but for someone who’s in recovery some of these obligations can lead to relapse.
Here are the top five situations that can trigger relapse and how to deal with them. For the best alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC, contact Legacy Freedom today.
Holiday Stress and Relapse
1. The financial aspect of Christmas, and even Thanksgiving, can cause stress, especially if you have a limited income. The extra food expenses for both holidays, plus the cost of buying gifts can lead to excessive worrying about how to pay for it all. It’s best to remember the reason for the holidays – which isn’t about how much you can spend; it’s about spending time with family and being thankful for what you have.
2. Schedules tend to fill up with extra activities, parties and other obligations over the holidays. It’s easy to look at a calendar bursting at the seams and feel overwhelmed. You don’t have to agree to participate in everything that comes up. Pick a few things that you and your loved ones care the most about and do those rather than saying yes to every invitation.
3. Holidays can trigger emotions, either because of past bad memories, or because of memories of a loved one who’s no longer around. They can also be associated with past holidays when you weren’t sober. Regardless of the emotion, everything can feel heightened during this time of year, which is normal. Take some time to yourself to process them and reflect on the positive changes over the past year.
4. Families can be tough to manage anyway, but during the holidays, conflict can seem more common. It may be hard to keep up with obligations to various family members in order to keep everyone happy. If it’s possible, cut back on what you have to do for family, whether it’s being the mediator during Thanksgiving or cooking all of Christmas dinner. Before the holidays, mention to your loved ones that the best gift they could give you is their support and understanding.
5. Holidays can be chaotic. Your normal routines can be hard to manage. If part of your recovery is eating healthy and exercising regularly, it can be hard to keep those commitments to yourself between the holiday potlucks and extra activities, but don’t let everything slide. Try to maintain some sense of your routine so that you won’t lose track of your other important goals, like staying sober.
The best plan for the holidays is to be prepared for anything that has caused stress in the past. If you take note beforehand you can avoid them, or find a way to manage them without turning to drugs or alcohol. Then you can make it through the season more resilient and ready to face the next chapter of your sobriety.
Alternative Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Wilmington NC | Legacy Freedom
Don’t let holiday drinking take over your life. You can get help at Legacy Freedom Treatment Center. Our outpatient programs for drug and alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC make it easy to get the help you need without having to miss out on the holidays. An admissions counselor is waiting to talk with you about substance abuse and recovery. Our treatment options include alternative therapies that other places don’t offer. You won’t find a more comprehensive rehab program in North Carolina. Call us today to learn more.