The holiday season is upon us, and with it, comes all sorts of celebratory get togethers. Usually fuelled at least in part, by alcohol. Being so surrounded by alcohol this time of year, it's easy to start to feel like we are alone in our sobriety. It's hard to feel like we are the only sober person around. It can be lonely and isolating. Feeling like we are alone in this journey can often also be a powerful trigger for drinking and in of itself. So how do we navigate this holiday season if we are wanting to do so without using alcohol or other substances?
Although this time of year can feel harder, because it is surrounded by all these celebratory events, the things we do that may be helpful often actually remain essentially the same as the rest of the year. Maybe we need to not say yes to that party invite if we know we are going to feel incredibly tempted. We may also find ourselves needing to set some strong boundaries with loved ones around substances as well as behaviors. It would be helpful to reach out to people who are supportive. Maybe we spend a little extra time just taking care of ourselves, doing things we enjoy and find relaxing during what can be a stressful time of year.
It can be easy to get caught up in the idea that this time of year is so difficult, that we absolutely are going to struggle at the very least, and then become totally overwhelmed with the idea of staying sober. In reality, most of the skills we have developed can still be helpful this time of year. We just need to take a deep breath, pause, and remind ourselves that we can handle this. Maybe we find ourselves needing to these tools a little more frequently then we normally would, upping our self care game etc., but it’s going to be ok. We really can make it through the holidays feeling good about how we handled any challenging situations that came up.
Questions about navigating the holidays our anything else sobriety related? Feel free to get in touch!