The holidays can be a testing time for those who have just undergone addiction treatment. Alcohol and drugs are everywhere and this can make the temptation to relapse greater. 

It’s important to have willpower and avoid certain mistakes that could encourage you to give in. Below are just some of the biggest things to avoid during the holidays. 

Not getting enough sunlight

9 Things To Avoid During The Holidays After Addiction Rehab

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing – some people are more likely to get depressed during the winter months because of the shorter hours of sunlight. This in turn can encourage people to relapse.

The sun helps our bodies to produce vitamin D, which can help improve our mood. Make sure that you’re not stuck indoors all day during daylight hours so that you can get your fix of vitamin D.

Getting too much/too little sleep

Both too much and too little sleep can make us groggy and depressed. You could find that you’re more likely to drink or take drugs if you’re oversleeping or not getting enough sleep. 

Aim for 7 to 9 hours per night if you can. This will help you to feel better.

Socially isolating yourself

Some people are so worried that they’ll relapse that they avoid seeing family and friends. Others feel that they have no one to reach out to and are destined to spend Christmas alone. This can result in loneliness, which may only help to trigger a relapse. 

Make sure to connect with your loved ones. If you feel you have no one to spend the holidays with, consider doing some volunteer work or try attending local sober support groups.

Giving into peer pressure

Some friends and relatives are likely to be bad influences. Staying away from these people during the holiday season may not be an option, however, you should be firm when it comes to saying no if they try to offer you drink or drugs. 

Try to steer the conversation away or use humor to be firm. If this doesn’t work and they still persist, you may have no choice but to distance yourself from them.

Giving into FOMO

9 Things To Avoid During The Holidays After Addiction Rehab

The ‘fear of missing out’ can cause many people to relapse. You may see people around you partaking in alcohol and drugs, and you may feel that it’s not fair that you have to stay sober. This feeling could be amplified if you’re spending most of the holidays alone.

You can beat FOMO by reminding yourself that you don’t need alcohol and drugs to have fun. Consider planning fun events throughout the holiday season that don’t involve alcohol and drugs such as long winter walks, going Xmas shopping, movie nights, or sober games nights. If you have any sober friends, plan activities with them.

Accidentally mixing up drinks

If you’ve recently been through alcohol rehab, make sure to keep an eye on your drink when at social events. You don’t want to accidentally sip someone else’s drink and end up consuming alcohol. It could make you feel guilty for breaking your sobriety and it may even tempt you into relapsing.

Hold onto your drink when you can. If you’re not sure if a drink is yours, ask someone else to taste it for you first to be sure.

Not bringing your own drinks to events

What happens if you go around someone’s house and they don’t have non-alcoholic drinks? If it’s someone you don’t know very well, you could feel more pressured to drink alcohol.

Avoid this temptation by bringing your own non-alcoholic drinks. This could include non-alcoholic beer and non-alcoholic wines.

Making an exception because ‘it’s Christmas!’

Don’t use Christmas as an excuse to relapse. A single drink or a single hit could be enough to tempt you back into binging.

Remember that if you get through the holidays, you can get through any part of the year. If you’re going to indulge in anything, indulge in the food. 

Neglecting support

Many people feel that once they are outside of an addiction treatment center, they are then on their own. In reality, there are many other forms of support out there including support groups, hotlines, and therapy programs.
At Grand Falls, we also offer rehab aftercare programs to help you adjust to a sober life. Consider whether you can benefit from this ongoing support.

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