The holiday season has arrived and that means more get togethers, events, and time spent with family and friends. While this can be a wonderful time to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company, it can also be stressful for individuals who are in recovery from addiction. Holiday parties often involve drinking, but they don’t want to bow out of every gathering and find themselves alone. Isolation can be just as triggering sometimes.
This is where having a strong support system comes into play. It’s important for those in recovery to have family and friends who support their sobriety and respect the changes they have made in their life. Here are a few ways you can help make the holidays more enjoyable for all:
Be mindful of the environment. If you are hosting a party, keep it alcohol-free. Let others know that you will be providing the beverages. Look up recipes for fun mocktails to make things more festive and put a twist on drink choices. Keep things light and have food, music, games, or other entertainment to keep people busy and socializing.
Be selective with party invites. You aren’t obligated to attend every event you’re invited to. If you know that there will be an open bar or lots of drinking, politely pass. Or, go early while guests are more likely to be sober and leave before things get out of hand. Avoid pressuring your friend or loved one into attending parties where they may not feel comfortable. Discuss invites together before making a decision.
Celebrate at home. Parties aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. Instead, opt to do something fun at home with a small group of close friends or family. This can help those in recovery feel more comfortable knowing they’ll be in a substance-free environment and there will be fewer temptations or triggers. Plan to watch a movie, make decorations, sing karaoke, bake cookies, play games, or do other fun activities. Make the night whatever you want it to be and just enjoy each other’s company.
Be flexible. If everyone feels like going to an event together, that’s great. Be a sober buddy and respect your friend or family member’s sobriety by choosing not to drink as well. Stick together so no one feels alone or awkward, and they have support should temptation arise. If they are ready to leave, politely say your goodbyes and go. You don’t need an explanation. Let them know that you have their back.
Recovery is a journey and something that people work on every day. This is no quick “cure” for addiction. Crossroads supports clients in rebuilding their lives, improving mental health, and making lifestyle changes that reduce risk of relapse and promote recovery. From residential treatment or outpatient services to ongoing therapy groups, there are many options available for overcoming addiction.
[cta]Are you struggling with maintaining your sobriety? Explore the different treatment options available at Crossroads.[/cta]