The holiday season can be one of great joy, but in addition it can be one of great stress. What with expectations and commitments, it is easy to find yourself frazzled and coming up short of what you think you should accomplish. For some of us in recovery, we are at risk or relapse if we don’t take care of ourselves. However, if we’ve paid attention during our own alcohol and drug treatment we’ve learned there are a number of ways to recognize the triggers and prevent relapse.
Although we can’t guarantee, we can help minimize your risk.
Slow Down: Remember to take care of yourself by slowing down a bit. Don’t wait to the last second to get everything done. You’ll find it will create a great amount of stress, and you won’t have any fun completing what you feel you need to do. Relax. The holiday season is a time to be with loved ones and family, or to even take stock of what you have to be grateful for over the year.
Care for your Body: One of the many things people do is overindulge. They eat lots of sweets and tend not to follow a balanced diet, feeling they can just jump back on board when the season is over…more than a month later. For us, that can be a dangerous tactic to follow. Eat well, get plenty of sleep, and don’t allow yourself to get run down. Fatigue is a stressor that can lead to relapse.
Recovery: This is a time to refocus your commitment to your recovery. A great way to stop and slow down is to go to a new meeting, or be sure to head back to one that you’ve been missing recently. You might even want to ask yourself the question, “What am I doing to work my program right now?” You’d be surprised by the answer.
Always remember that recovery is work. Addiction and relapse are always waiting to jump when you are most vulnerable. Be sure to laugh a lot over the holidays, and find a way to turn annoyances in to humor.