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Preparing for Holiday Stress

It may seem early to be talking about the holidays and preparing for what that means, but the fact of the matter is that the holidays are right around the corner. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are all on their way with nothing holding them back. This time of year tends to put additional stress on individuals in recovery. The key to not falling victim to holiday relapse is preparation. Knowing what types of holiday stress may serve as triggers and potentially derail your recovery journey can mean a successful holiday season of sobriety. Below are some common sources of holiday stress.

  1. Family Conflict – The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, potentially some that you rarely see, and possibly some that you don’t want to see. It is hard, if not impossible, to avoid certain family members. While you may not be able to avoid them, being aware of the possibility of family conflict can help you create a plan. Discuss the situation with a trusted loved one and make sure you have someone looking out for you. Plan the encounters so that you have a neutral person or mediator with you when you around the person. Ensure that you aren’t in a position that will spark conflict or jeopardize your recovery.
  2. Financial Pressure – Gift giving can be stressful when there are a lot of people to buy for, or the expectation is that you spend a lot of money on gifts. In larger families or when surplus funds are scare, playing a version of Secret Santa can be a great solution. Each family member pulls a name out of a hat, and they are responsible for buying for just that one person. This allows you to put more time, effort, thought, and money into one gift rather than going broke to buy smaller, sometimes less meaningful, gifts for a large number of people. Remember it is about the thought not about the money!
  3. Social Gatherings – Plan ahead and only attend events where your sobriety is not questioned. Your job is not to make everyone happy. Your job is to take care of yourself. No one else can take care of you the way that you can. Do not let guilt force you into a situation you don’t need to be in this holiday season.

If you or a loved one is new to recovery and unsure how to handle the transition back into life after treatment, especially during the holidays, please call Villa Tranquil at 866-697-7573 to speak with an addiction consultant about the services offered at Villa Tranquil. With a positive, serene environment, like-minded individuals, and the opportunity to learn critical recovery life skills, Villa Tranquil may be the optimal location for your transition. Find out today!