How to Manage Holiday Stress in Recovery

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Dec 17, 2015

How to Manage Holiday Stress in Recovery

RecoveryIt’s that time of year: the holiday season. The days are much shorter, the nights are colder, and as December progresses, the holiday stress begins to set in. You’ve got gifts to buy, wrap, and give – not to mention you have to spend time with family and be mindful of your recovery. As adults, we all get stressed – it is completely natural. However, for those who have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction, stress is a common trigger and learning how to manage holiday stress is key in relapse prevention. Thankfully, stress is so common that there are many steps you can take to manage it before it gets out of hand.

Make a List, Check it (more than) Twice

Lists are essential in time management, but sticking to the list is what is going to help you take a stressful situation and turn it into a productive smooth-running one. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed with the holidays or just life in general, take out your notepad and write it all out. It will help to organize your busy mind and by checking it regularly, you can feel assured that you are getting it all done. Besides, there is nothing like the instant gratification of checking things off of a long list.

You Can Say No

By now, holiday party invitations have likely come flooding in and now, more than ever, is the time to remember the power of the word ‘no’. You of course want to be social and make time to see all your favorite people, but it’s important not to forget about number one (that’s you!). Being mindful of your boundaries and your comfort zone during the high season of parties is probably the most important thing for your recovery. So when you feel badly about saying no, just ask yourself, what is more important: pleasing people or staying on track with your recovery?

Make Time for You

On that note, no matter how easy to get carried away with plans this time of year, you may need to make time for a rest stop to intentionally check in with how you are doing in your recovery. Keep tabs on your emotions and your feelings by keeping a mood journal and meditate on your recovery goals daily, weekly, or whenever you get some alone time.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Just as it is with recovery, making it healthfully through the holidays will be near impossible without support from your friends and family. After all, addiction is a family disease. So, when you’re swamped with a pile of gifts to wrap, a dish to make for your recovery group potluck, or even trying to squeeze in time to attend your weekly group meeting, don’t be afraid to reach out to your loved ones and ask for a little help.

What are some ways to manage stress that work for you? Share with us in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter. Happy Holidays!

If you or a loved one is ready to conquer an addiction to drugs or alcohol, recovery is possible. can give you or your loved one the resources necessary to make a turnaround into lifelong sobriety. Call 1 (877) 968-6283 and we will locate a facility offering the recovery treatments you need, all at no charge to you.





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