Managing Addiction Through the Holidays

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Enjoying the Holiday Season While Living with Addiction

It seems like the holidays approach earlier with every passing year. As soon as September rolls around, pumpkin spice takes over in almost every form imaginable. Hot pumpkin spice flavored lattes may have ushered in the 2015 Holiday Season, but if you were a visitor or resident of Southern California in early fall, I’m sure that you would have preferred a cooler treat. For many people in recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs, the stress associated with the holidays can lead to feelings of anxiety. Along with everyday life, the hustle and bustle of holiday commitments can bring up all sorts of emotions. It’s important to establish boundaries with family and friends to ensure that you’re being supported throughout your recovery during one of the most stressful times of year.

  • Set aside time every day. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes to do something good for yourself. Take a walk and enjoy the fresh air. Sometimes walking away from distractions can help recharge your attitude to get you thinking more positively.
  • Eliminate distractions. Dedicate a day without your cell phone or checking your social media profiles. Today more than ever, technology allows us to be constantly connected anywhere in the world. While these technological advances are great, they also make us even more disconnected from each other which can create a negative impact on relationships. A recent survey from Mobile Mindset found that three out of five U.S. smartphone users don’t go more than an hour without checking their phones.
  • Enhance your support system. The holidays are a good time to reach out to your sponsor, spiritual advisor or support group. Spend time with those that are also in recovery and establish boundaries and say ‘no’ when something doesn’t feel comfortable for you.

Whatever your beliefs and traditions are, discovering new ways to celebrate this holiday season to create new memories can enhance your journey to recovery.