Holidays can be tough for those in recovery from an addiction. Family events and seasonal get-togethers can naturally be a more stressful time. Plus, there’s a tendency for family and friends to include alcohol with celebrations. With Thanksgiving approaching, consider a few helpful tips on how to survive Thanksgiving sober.
Make The Decision
Decide now, well before the holidays come, that you’re NOT going to be drinking any alcohol under any circumstances. Make the firm decision that you WILL spend Thanksgiving sober. With a firm resolution, you’ll set yourself up for success. Don’t allow yourself any “maybe’s” or conditions on drinking. Make the decision to spend your Thanksgiving healthy, present, and sober.
Envision Your Success
Picture yourself enjoying a sober Thanksgiving. Think of precisely how that will look and make fulfilling that vision your goal. Point out all the positives as you envision a successfully sober holiday. For example, a sober Thanksgiving will be one in which you can be more present to those around you, feel and look healthier, and return to work on Monday refreshed and feeling wonderful.
Prepare To Deal With Stress
Holidays usually come with some degree of stress. That’s bound to happen when you’re around lots of family and friends—and when you have to be at a certain place at a certain time to fulfill various social obligations. Think about and plan out how you’ll deal with this stress and potential anxiety in healthy ways.
Plan to get exercise around the holidays. You could schedule to run in a Thanksgiving 5K, for example. Diffuse essential oils like lavender or peppermint to calm your nerves. Turn to prayer, meditation, or deep breathing to center your mind and help you focus on the task at hand. And if you need to get away, don’t hesitate to take some alone time amidst all the other activities.
Take the focus off of your thoughts by getting active. Dwelling on your thoughts can lead to stress, frustration, or temptation. Step outside your own mind by doing something. Help out with cooking or baking, or offer to help clean up after a meal. Sometimes serving others enables us to focus less on ourselves and more on the people we love who surround us.
It is possible to have a sober and enjoyable Thanksgiving. It will require a conscious decision to avoid alcohol and a clear vision of what a sober holiday will look like. Brainstorming and planning concrete ways to deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy way can help you avoid turning to alcohol for consolation. Staying active, involved, and engaged in the family activities can enable you to enjoy Thanksgiving in a healthy, fully-present way.
Consider A Sober Living Environment
If you are struggling to stay clean and sober, a sober living environment may be right for you. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation offers men’s sober living residences in the beautiful coastal region of Charleston, SC.
Contact us today. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.