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Sober Night, All is Calm, All is Bright

By: Carol Morriscey

The holiday season brings with it many temptations, especially for those newly sober. Follow this guide to planning a sober season. Your guide for staying sober this holiday season

The holiday season can be a challenging time to stay sober. With the additional stresses, a packed social schedules, and extra family time, temptations are everywhere. The key to preserving your hard-earned sobriety is planning ahead. Making sure you have a plan for avoiding tempting situations, and an escape plan when you can’t avoid them, will help the season glide by smoothly, all while maintaining your sobriety. Below are some steps you can take to prepare yourself for a successful season.

Reduce Stress—Get Your Errands out of the Way!

Whether it be shopping for presents and the turkey, stringing your lights, preparing your peanut butter balls or any bustling around that must be done, get it done early! By getting these tasks out of the way, your stress is greatly reduced, taking any undue burden off of yourself. Giving yourself some time to breath will help you maintain your sobriety.

Plan Your Holiday Season

Having an idea of what each day will hold gives you the opportunity to mentally prepare yourself for any challenges you may face. Even better, it may give you the opportunity to avoid these challenges. Take this chance to plan activities which will not trigger drug use, and don’t leave room in your plans for boredom and drug use.

Take Care of Yourself

Don’t forget all the important steps which you’ve taken to achieve your sobriety. Continue your self-care routines, including exercise, meditation, and healthy eating. This can go awry when we’re trying to balance many different things, but it is crucial! This will help you keep a healthy perspective, and your eyes on the prize throughout this stressful season.

Surround Yourself with Friends and Family, and Ask for Support!

Surrounding ourselves with people who love us helps us remember why our sobriety is so important. Spend your holiday season surrounded by people who love you and promote your sobriety. Bring a supportive or sober buddy to events which you believe will be challenging to your sobriety.

Find a Meeting or Plan a Phone Call

The holiday season is a demanding time of year, which can cause a lot of stress and temptation. Don’t let this get the best of you! In anticipation of these provocations, schedule a virtual or in-person SMART recovery meeting or an over-the-phone therapy session with a Searidge counsellor.

Although the holiday season can be a stressful time, you have the tools to overcome the challenges. Don’t lose sight of the accomplishments you’ve achieved thus far, and continue to strive for a sober and fulfilling life. After all, this is the best holiday gift!

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National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers International Security for Traumatic Stress Studies The Canadian Positive Psychology Association The Association for Addiction Professionals