4 Relapse Prevention Tips for the Holidays

Relapse Prevention Tips
This is the message of Christmas: we are never alone.
— Taylor Caldwell

Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years are often triggers for addicts and alcoholics.

There’s something about the pressure of family expectations, the awkward conversations with family members you speak to only once a year, and the general frustrations of securing the perfect presents for everyone on your list.

Or, maybe you just hold some deep resentments from holidays past, and you prefer to eliminate all holidays from the calendar year.

Whichever your reason, packing your toolbox full of helpful relapse preventions tools will guarantee you an easier, more carefree season.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Let’s thank IceCube for this wonderful lyric, which so beautifully describes the most important aspect of relapse prevention.

If you find that honesty is low on your list of priorities, you are only hurting yourself.

Lying and ‘withholding the truth’ are mere catalysts to relapse.

Holding lies and unspoken truths inside can be a heavy weight to bear. Chances are, those ‘deep, dark secrets’ you want to withhold from the world are actually way less of a deal than you have chalked them up to be.

Carefully select your squad.

The people you choose to surround yourself with will directly determine the quality of your sobriety.

Choose these people carefully.

Friendship in Sobriety

Be on the lookout for people who have that ‘spark.’ The spark is identifiable by laughter, smiles, confidence, and kindness.

A quality friendship is one that lifts both participants up to their best selves.

Ask and you shall receive.

The only way you will receive help is if you ask.

Openness is a tool that you should use frequently. If you are struggling with a problem in your personal life, talk about it. The chances are that others have been through similar struggles, and might have some words of wisdom to share with you.

Asking for help is no easy feat. You will feel awkward, uncomfortable, and ever so often, you will feel needy. Fortunately, you are the only one who feels this way, because they are your problems.

Having been on the receiving end of many inquiries, I feel honored and touched that someone trusts me to open up about their struggles.

Give instead of take.

Helping another alcoholic / addict is the best way to promote relapse prevention.

When you are listening to others’ problems, you have no time to think about your own.

If you have a friend who is having a particularly rough time with the prospect of spending the holidays with their family, lend them an ear.

If you hear a newly sober individual is struggling with anxiety or cravings, take them to a meeting or invite them to coffee.

Be good to yourself this holiday…

Despite the time you will be most likely spending with your family, your significant other’s family, or the countless ‘friendsmas’ events you’ll be invited to, make sure to schedule self-care.

What is self-care?

Whatever you really like to do! Whether it’s reading, going for a run, treating yourself to frozen yogurt, or laser tagging… Make sure to ‘treat yoself.’

We're here to help!

If you're really feeling the struggle of the holidays, there are a few resources for you... 

  1. Join our gratitude list! We have a day-to-day gratitude list, which is very active... Especially during the holidays. Click here to join
  2. Read our blog. We post 2-3 blog posts a week on the topics of relapse prevention, living sober, and general addiction knowledge. Visit www.newmethodwellness.com/blog for an archive of our past blogs. 
  3. Pick up one of our Sober & Well magazines at our office, or you can contact karinl@newmethodwellness.com for a digital copy.