Home for the Holidays

Tips to Help Someone in Recovery Better Weather Christmas and New Year’s Eve

As noted in recent blogs, the holidays are generally tough for someone recovering from an alcohol or drug addiction. There are, however, some tried-and-true tips that loved ones can administer to help ensure that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are more parts celebration than trepidation. The website drugaddictiontreatment.com offers a checklist of effective pre-emptive moves anyone can make to help someone in recovery during this time of year. Here are some highlights:

• Lighten Up

First, it’s important to adopt a more lighthearted look at the entire holiday season in general. It needn’t be all that stressful if you take time to sift through all the types of demands and activities that tend to increase stress and tension around the house – and then get rid of some of them, at least temporarily.

• Help with Stress Management Techniques

Try to engage in stress-reducing activities such as walking, hiking, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and meditation. Getting enough rest is also high on the list of recommended strategies for helping to manage stress during this time of the year.

• Understand the Disease of Addiction

When the holidays have you all in a commotion over gift-buying and tree-trimming or other aspects of the festive time of the year, it’s wise to keep in mind that your loved one in recovery has the disease of addiction. All the alcohol ads on TV, in the newspapers, on billboards is like waving a red cape in front of a bull. It’s a simple example of cause and effect, with the effect being, in many cases, giving in to the overwhelming urge to use.

• How about not partying?

Here’s a simple notion: Be very selective about the number and types of events or party invitations that you accept.

• Make a Plan

If you must attend a party, help your loved one by practicing or role-playing things he or she can say when being offered a drink. This takes the sting out of being caught off-guard at a party or event and having no clue what to say or do other than reach out and take the glass of booze offered.

• Take Advantage of Available Support

Going to meetings, talking with sponsors, and taking advantage of the community of support available to those in recovery are some of the smartest things your loved one can do during this time. By attending an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting yourself, you can show your support for your loved one, as well as get the kind of support you need for yourself. The Right Step’s Alumni Program was created to be a social-support system for those in recovery who have participated in any of the treatments at the facility. We highly recommend that clients and family tap this wonderful resource throughout the recovery process – and especially around the holidays. To find out more about the program, please our alumni page. Or call us at 844-877-1781, and we’ll help guide you or a loved one in recovery to a happier, healthier holiday experience.

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