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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Adkins

Tips for staying sober through the holidays

The holidays are often seen as a time of great joy and celebration but that is not the case for everyone. If you are a person that has struggled with the addiction to alcohol or other substances, or even just someone that can over abide when stressful situations arise, the holidays can be a very rough time for you. There are a couple of things you can do to help prepare yourself for this time of year though in order to get through it safely and most importantly sober.

Plan Ahead

If you know it is going to be a stressful situation, try taking your own car so you have control of when you arrive and when you leave. Doing this will allow you to get out of any situation which could push you over the edge.

Use Props

People will not always know that you are avoiding any sort of alcohol or other things during this time of year and will try to play the good host, making sure everyone has a drink on your hand. By making sure you have a non-alcoholic beverage with you at all times, it will stop people from asking to get you a drink and eliminate the temptation.

Avoid Stressful Relatives

Stress can lead to drinking or rationalizing that it is okay to abide to get mentally out of those situations that can cause it. By knowing which relatives may push you to the brink. Maybe you have an Uncle who will always try and push a drink on you or an Aunt who likes to bring up things from the past. Avoiding these people is okay and healthy.

Practice Self-care

Knowing your triggers and having a plan in place for your own self-care is a key to getting through this time of year. Doing things like meditation and yoga can help bring center you so you can better cope with the things that are pushing you to bad decisions.

Monitor Your Triggers

There is an acronym for realizing your triggers; Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired or HALT. Once you see yourself going down the rabbit hole that will lead to alcohol or substance abuse, you can help yourself by stopping and practicing any form of self-care to bring you back to a good mental place.

The holidays can be a great time for everyone. Being around family, giving and receiving gifts, and all the amazing food. With all that though, it can bring stress, and anxiety, and many other things that can lead us to the bad spot of substance abuse. The first step to all of this is recognizing the things that will bring on these emotions. After you do this, you can begin to put a plan in action in effect to cope with them in a healthy and building way rather than a destructive path of overindulging in any form of mind-altering vice.

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