Christmas can be a difficult time for people struggling with an addictive disorder. There is a reason that Christmas in the UK is frequently portrayed as inextricably linked to heavy drinking. That is because Christmas is when many people allow themselves to drink a little more than usual.
However, being in an environment where alcohol is very prevalent can naturally throw up a lot of issues for those struggling with addiction or those who are recovering addicts. Staying sober over Christmas, be it by not giving into drinking or drug addiction, requires commitment, ensuring that you are in a place where you feel comfortable, and a supportive environment — whether that be with supportive family members and/or family and friends.
Hopefully, you will find below a series of techniques to help you stay clean this Christmas period and more advice for if you feel as though you are getting overwhelmed this holiday season. Of course, if you would rather speak to someone about this issue, then you can always call Cassiobury Court’s helpline on 0800 001 4070, or you can text HELP to 83222.
Maintaining Sobriety this Christmas
Making sure that you stay sober through the holiday season can be a massive moment in any recovering addict’s recovery journey. Naturally, Christmas can be a very stressful time for anyone, so it can be a period where many people turn to drugs and/or alcohol to cope with the stress.
However, no matter how stressful things may become over the holidays, there are some things that you can be doing to try and keep your mind focused on your recovery.
Coping Strategies For Handling Addiction At Christmas
Keep in mind why you stopped drinking and/or consuming drugs in the first place:
Christmas-time drinking can often be associated with family members enjoying one another’s company alongside a few alcoholic drinks. With this in mind, it can often be tempting to think that one or two casual drinks with loved ones at the end of the year may not lead to anything more.
However, you must keep focused on your recovery even in these moments. Allow yourself to remember how far you have come from the lowest moments of your addiction. Relapse can be a slippery slope, and those small casual drinks can lead you to ruin.
Plan ahead for your holiday period
During the Christmas period, some environments can cause you to experience pressure to have a drink. Also, so many other people drink at Christmas can cause you to feel a little on the outskirts of social engagements during the holidays. However, if you have already achieved sobriety, you should be able to manage your triggers. Furthermore, there are some things that you can do to prepare yourself in advance for holiday gatherings, including the likes of:
- Tell people you see in advance that you will not be drinking.
- Plan out how you will say ‘no’ when offered a drink, and do not panic about saying ‘no.’
- Take a sober companion with you to gatherings where alcohol may be consumed.
- Have an ‘exit strategy’ which you can fall back on if you feel overwhelmed.
- Reach out to a local substance abuse support group for advice and/or help before going to a gathering where alcohol may be involved.
Put your recovery at the forefront of your holiday period
There is no shame in saying ‘no’ to a drink. Some individuals may try to pressure you to drink but calmly take yourself out of the environment if this is the case. Even if you feel you are ‘letting down’ family and friends, never forget that your recovery is the most important thing to you over this holiday period.
Socialising in environments where alcohol is present will become easier over time, do not rush into situations you are not prepared for.
What to do if you think that you will be alone
Many people can find themselves to be alone at Christmas, which can bring with it its own issues. If you are alone at Christmas, then loneliness can be pretty overwhelming. However, there are some things that you should do to prepare for being alone this holiday season, such as:
- Reach out to local support groups as they will provide you with support that you may not otherwise have over the holidays.
- Try to find online message boards or helplines for recovering addicts, Cassiobury Court’s helpline will also be open for you if necessary.
- Avoid having alcohol in your house, even if it is for someone else who you are living with.
- Try to find ways to enjoy your own company. You could maybe do this by reconnecting with some old hobbies or even finding new passions.
Getting Help For Staying Sober This Holiday Season
Adhering to some of the coping strategies detailed above should help you keep sober during the holiday period. However, suppose you are looking for more serious treatment for drug adducing or alcohol addiction over this holiday period. In that case, you can always reach out to Cassiobury Court to get a course of addiction treatment at our alcohol rehab/drug rehab.
Cassiobury Court has a quick and easy admission process. It can provide you with the best quality of addiction treatment — including the likes of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), individual therapy, group therapy, art therapy, detoxification therapy, as well as an aftercare programme. Your mental health will never have been better after having undergone a course of treatment at Cassiobury Court, as our therapies will be able to guide you into a sober lifestyle — provided you are committed to the idea of recovery.
If you feel as though you need professional help with staying or getting sober over this coming holiday period, then reach out to Cassiobury Court today.