How to Manage the Holidays While in Addiction Recovery
Thanksgiving is often a time for friends and family to gather together and eat; many Americans fly around this time of year to visit loved ones whom they haven’t seen in a while, and it’s around this season that people shared reasons to be grateful. If you’re currently in mental illness or addiction recovery, you may not get the opportunity to visit home this season. For some, the holidays can be particularly triggering due to the centralized nature of family, love, and connection – three components that may not necessarily be thriving if a person is in recovery. No matter what your situation is, what’s most important to remember is that you are working on bettering yourself – that in and of itself is something to be grateful for.
Keep the following in mind whenever you feel yourself getting worked up this holiday season:
- It’s okay to feel the way you do. Allow yourself to feel those emotions in a healthy way – that’s right, give yourself permission to cry. But only for a certain amount of time; if you allow yourself to sulk for too long, you could send yourself into depression.
- Make a list of what you are grateful for. Number one on that list – recovery. Now, it’s up to you to identify what means the most to you right now.
- Get your cooking skills on. Even if you’ll be eating alone this holiday season, make yourself the ultimate Thanksgiving feast – your stomach will be grateful you did!
- Remember that family gathering aren’t the norm for everyone. While this time of year may seem like a lot of pressure to get together will loved ones near and far, the truth is that not everybody does this. In fact, there are many people out there who continue living this day as if it was any other, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
- See if any of your recovery peers and/or group leaders would like to host a “recovery holiday meal”. This could be an excellent way to connect with like-minded people while also getting some delicious food in.
There will always be ups and downs in recovery, but the point is to find the silver lining – the moments that make it all worthwhile. Don’t allow the holidays to bring you down.
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