With the holidays coming up, it can be easy to feel nervous about the urge to abuse alcohol or drugs. Whether potential usage is with family or friends, or whether we may feel lonely during the holidays, the urge is still there, and it’s real. If you’ve been in recovery for quite some time or if you’re just wanting to ensure your health and safety this holiday season, sobriety can easily be achieved by remembering and following these few simple tips:
- Know what your boundaries are. If your friends or family are abusing substances, plan your boundaries ahead of time to decide when you will say no and when you will head home. Doing this in advance means that you will feel more comfortable implementing your plans if the time comes to leave. Having a ride ahead of time or having your own vehicle can provide you with the confidence of knowing you can leave when you’re ready.
- Understand what you are getting into before you go. If you are about to go somewhere you know there will be a lot of drinking, decide for yourself if that’s going to put you in a risky position or not. Never compromise your values or your health to feel comfortable around others. If you don’t feel that going would be a clever idea, don’t go. Too often, many people feel obligated to place themselves in situations that aren’t good for them. You don’t have to do that.
- Make yourself a non-alcoholic drink before you go somewhere, and use that throughout the night. Many people who are drinking won’t even notice that you aren’t drinking alcohol.
- If your friends or family ask why you’re not drinking, simply tell them, “I’m not drinking tonight” or “I have plans early tomorrow” or “I took medication and alcohol doesn’t mix well with it”. Whatever you feel comfortable saying, let them know that you can’t tonight.
- If you know that you’re going to be alone for the holidays, plan some activities that will keep you engaged and entertained. Emotions such as sadness, anger, and loneliness can cause a person to want to abuse substances during the holidays, because of the stigma that holidays should involve family and friends. This isn’t true, and many people around the world have fun during holidays without family and friends. Volunteer, read a delightful book, cook something new, or attend a sober holiday event to meet others with similar health goals.
Avalon Malibu is a mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment center focused on providing you with the best care possible. Make the decision to seek help today. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that best suits your needs and will restore your mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for a consultation at 888-958-7511.