The holidays can be a difficult time for people recovering from an addiction. Several temptations are around you, such as festive alcoholic drinks and more. The holiday season is a time of year connected with food, cocktails, and parties, which can often cause “holiday stress”. Often people with drug addictions or substance abuse problems find stress as an excuse to relapse and start using again.
Here are some tips that can help you avoid addiction relapses over the holidays:
- Know your triggers: People with addiction problems should be aware of their triggers. Experts say that some of the most common triggers are hunger, anger, loneliness and tiredness; also referred to as “HALT”. Take care of yourself. Make sure you get enough sleep and eat enough in order to avoid these triggers.
- Bring your own supplies: You can always choose to bring a food or drink that you enjoy to a party or event. For example, if you know that the party you are going to will not have any nonalcoholic beverages, you can bring your own drink.
- Distract yourself: Try to keep yourself away from any temptations. Since it can be hard to do that, you may choose to take with you a friend or a loved one that does not drink or someone who knows how to encourage you against temptations.
- Prepare your responses: If you do not feel comfortable telling your loved ones or friends about your recovery, you do not have to. Rehearse your responses in advance and be ready to answer anyone’s questions.
- Avoid cravings: Another way to avoid relapse, is by learning to move past your cravings. According to experts, a craving can last about 20 minutes. Try distracting or pacing yourself for these 20 minutes. Remind yourself to not give in.
Keep in mind that you do not need alcohol, drugs or cigarettes to have fun during the holidays.
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