7 Sober Coping Skills for the Holidays
The holidays can be stressful for people in and out of recovery. Getting together with family can sometimes cause anxiety for newly sober people. There are a lot of potential triggers to deal with if it’s your first holiday in recovery. You may be seeing family or missing family. There will always be feelings to cope with.
Here are some ways to cope this holiday season:
- Reclaim your time. You don’t have to go to a family get-together all night. Stay for a few hours, and then give yourself time to do something for yourself. You’re not obligated to stay at any event until the end. Being in control of your own time is an excellent skill to practice.
- Plan to go to a 12-step meeting. There are often events for Christmas and New Year planned strategically to help people out who are struggling. Many cities with 12-step meetings will host “marathons” that have meetings back-to-back for 24 hours.
- Make a deal with your sober friends to check in with each other. If you’re feeling worried about triggers or emotions, let other people know ahead of time. Let sober friends you want them to check in on you, too. Texting at certain times and venting can help do wonders. You can also get advice if you’re feeling anxiety or anger. Make your network into a tight-knit group over the holidays.
- Speak with event hosts ahead of time to let them know you’re sober. If you expect there will be drinking or drug use at the party, ask them directly to keep alcohol away from the other drinks. Bring a two-liter of your favorite non-alcoholic beverage.
- Plan daily self-care. This may mean getting up earlier to meditate or go for a jog. Do what helps you feel safe and calm.
- Journal when you’re feeling angry or hurt. Holiday seasons, especially for people relatively new to sobriety, can bring up intense feelings. It’s not wise to get into heated discussions when attending family events. If something comes up, find a quiet spot to journal it out.
- Agree to disagree or speak later if sensitive discussions come up. You’re not the only one who may feel emotions this holiday season. If things get uncomfortable or intense during a discussion, ask the other party if the conversation can wait.
Staying sober during the holidays is essential. You’re not alone this holiday season. Reach out and go to meetings if you’re feeling lonely, angry, or scared. Many people have a tough time during the holiday months. You can get through it with the help of your support network and peers in recovery.
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