“Thank you so much for helping me see what has always been right in front of me and that’s a glimmer of hope. I feel like my life has turned for the better and couldn’t have done it without you.”

Don G.

How to Prepare for the Holidays in Recovery

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The holidays are just around the corner and they are filled with wonderful events like family gatherings, getting together with friends, parties, gift giving, but also stress!  One of the biggest stressors associated with the holiday season can be family issues.  For those in recovery, certain family traditions or family members who encourage past behaviors can be triggers that may lead to a relapse. With everything that comes with the holiday season, it can be a difficult time for those in early recovery.

So, one might wonder what could be done to avoid the stresses and triggers that the holidays bring with them. The first and most important step is to be aware of the problems that can arise. Know your triggers and how to manage them. Evaluate situations in advance so that you are prepared to handle them, and practice answering questions about your recovery beforehand if you think family and friends may ask.

Preparation is the next key to handling the holidays while in recovery. One way to prepare is to bring the party with you. Rather than assuming your host will have options that suit your situation, bring your preferred drink with you. For example, you could bring flavored, sparkling water to the celebration. Also, eat some food ahead of time to avoid feeling anxious or irritable from low blood sugar. This could leave you feeling impulsive or tempted at a celebration or gathering. Bring along a friend that isn’t going to drink or use, that way you have someone to hold you accountable and socialize with. Aim to avoid others who may try to tempt you, not everyone will have your best interest at heart.

Leaning on your support system during the holidays is another great way to avoid the dangers of a relapse. This could include attending extra meetings, staying close with friends and family who understand your journey and staying away from friends who may abuse substances.  Also, try not to be alone during the holidays.  Make plans to stay active and keep bust by finding healthy events to participate in. This can help you avoid falling into the destructive patterns of the past.

Rimrock is committed to making sure your family is healthy and cohesive. If you are curious about our many services, call us directly at 406-248-3175 or 800-227-3953. You can also find us on Facebook, or also learn about our programs by visiting our website at www.rimrock.org.

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