The holiday season is considered the perfect time to be close to family and friends. However, moments of stress and anxiety are inevitable during this joyous occasion. For a recovering alcohol addict, the holiday’s activities can interfere with your intentions to stay sober.
Although most alcohol addicts are likely to experience a relapse during the holidays, some ways can help you stay clear of alcohol. Understanding your triggers, knowing when to say no to alcohol, and sticking to your plan can lower the risk of relapse and allow you to have a happy and fulfilling holiday.
Read along to learn more about how to manage alcohol addiction triggers during the holidays.
1. Combat Your Triggers
Knowing what can trigger your alcohol addiction is of much importance. If you know that being around some people or being in certain places can increase your urge to drink alcohol, it’s best to avoid them at all costs. Also, ensure to take care of your basic needs such as food and sleep to make better decisions.
2. Create A Plan
If it’s inevitable to be around family and friends who may encourage you to drink, it’s important to have a plan and stick to it. Ensure that your plan strictly prohibits you from drinking. Your plan may include bringing safe drinks along or being ready to leave the party if things get intense.
3. Have A Support System
If you have to be at a party where most people are drinking alcohol, make sure to be accompanied by a friend championing your sobriety. Discuss ahead of time on ways to avoid drinking and how you’ll respond to friends urging you to drink a little. A supportive friend is important in this situation since they’ll make you feel supported and help you make wise decisions. You may also want to find out more on how to get help during your alcoholic recovery.
4. Be Ready With A Response
Since alcohol is among the most important items in most celebrations, the holiday season can be challenging for persons trying to recover from alcohol abuse. If you’re a recovering alcoholic, ensure to be ready to respond to anyone offering you a bottle of beer. A polite and simple ‘no, thanks’ is more than enough, especially since long explanations can create room for conviction.
5. Assess Each Situation
Assess each situation and rank it as low, medium, or high-risk for your case. If you’ve just started your recovery, ensure to avoid spending much time on high-risk occasions. If you’re further into recovery and are attending a party with an open bar, stick to your sobriety plan. Make sure to arrive early and leave early. Also, it’s advisable to drive yourself so you can leave at your convenience.
6. Remember To Eat
An empty stomach puts you at risk of having low blood sugar, which can later leave you irritable or anxious. These feelings can make you feel impulsive and may lead you to alcohol. Ensure to have a nutritious, balanced diet or a healthy snack from time to time to keep your sugar levels in check.
7. Control Your Stressors
Most people turn to alcohol as a stress-coping mechanism. Given that alcohol is plenty during the festive season and stress is inevitable, most recovering alcoholics risk falling back to alcoholism. To avoid such a situation, ensure to keep your stress under control and avoid subsiding them with the help of alcohol. In case you’re stressed, it’ll be best to avoid attending parties with alcohol to avoid relapse.
8. Practice Healthy Self-Care
Being around family and friends increases the chances of indulging in alcohol. To avoid getting caught up in a situation where you’re likely to drink, ensure to engage in healthy self-care activities such as biking, swimming, or hiking during holidays. However, if it’s a must to be around family and friends, ensure to spend the most time with persons who are less likely to offer you a drink.
9. Connect With Sober Contacts
During such a trying season, it’s important to connect with sober people. Don’t be afraid to ask them to check on you from time to time to ensure you haven’t given in to drinking. While some people view asking for help as an act of vulnerability, it’s an act of bravery that shows your will to remain sober.
10. Learn To Control Your Cravings
It’s believed that most cravings last for about 20 minutes. Therefore, if you can manage your craving for a short while, you can save yourself a relapse. To get over your cravings, move to a quiet place away from alcohol, meditate, or take a deep breath. Remind yourself that a single drink can lead to relapse, and you should avoid it at all costs.
11. Inform Everyone Of Your Plan To Stay Sober
It might be important to inform your family and friends of your choice to remain sober during the holiday season. By sharing this information, you allow your loved ones an opportunity to protect you from alcohol relapse. Also, these people will avoid placing you in a situation where you might get tempted to drink. In some cases, supportive family and friends might also consider not having any alcohol available at the parties to help you with your course.
During the holiday season, most people recovering from alcohol and drug abuse are likely to experience relapse. Therefore, it’s important to try and protect these individuals as they recover from their addictions. If your family member is trying to manage their alcohol addiction during the festive season, you can chip in by ensuring that most of your parties are alcohol-free.
Also, ensure to check on them from time to time to ensure they aren’t giving in to alcohol cravings. For persons trying to manage their alcohol addiction during holidays, it’s important to stick to your sobriety plans. Consider bringing a trusted friend who’s aware of your need to remain sober and always have an exit plan if you feel tempted to drink. Remember, saying no isn’t a weakness.