There’s nothing like the holiday season! It’s the time of year for fun, excitement, decorating, family, friends and entertainment. It’s also a time of additional pressure, worry, and strain. The Holidays can bring on extra expenses, extra activities, less sleep, poor diets, past memories and an overall increase of stress and anxiety.
Many who suffer with addiction will have a relapse this holiday season. It is important for those suffering from addiction, and the loved ones of an addict, to be aware of the additional tension so they can develop a plan to reduce the risk of relapse. The person suffering with addiction should mentally prepare themselves for the upcoming events. Remembering to use the appropriate coping techniques such as relaxation, meditation, exercise, healthy diet, positive self-talk, and using assertiveness communication can help in staying on track. The holidays are a great time to attend extra support group meetings not only for the one suffering from addiction, but for family and loved ones. When attending a holiday party and alcohol or drugs may be present, it is important to take a sober friend for extra support, take non-alcoholic drinks, and leaving early is always an option. The holiday season is a great time to update names and numbers of sober family and friends who will be supportive.
For those suffering with addiction, the holidays can be challenging with high risk situations. However, it can also be a time of renewed commitments and affirmations. An opportunity to reflect on how much has been accomplished and the most important things learned through the process of recovery. If you are struggling with substance abuse or addiction be sure to seek help and remember you are never alone in the journey.
Tia Parsley, LPC, LCDC