We Believe in Sharing Community Resources
As a family law firm, we have insights into a lot of issues that affect families. We believe it is important to provide connections to appropriate and reputable resources who have the necessary expertise to provide support to individuals in need whenever possible. With the holiday season upon us, we want to provide helpful tips that can make a difference in having a happy holiday.
Holiday Strategies to Help Support Your Sobriety
This year we want to draw attention to one facet that routinely presents itself in our family law cases when there is conflict during the holiday seasons: substance abuse. We have witnessed our clients experience how the stress from the holidays can manifest as substance abuse, or how the fun and frivolity of the holiday season can add to an already tenuous relationship with various substances.
For this reason, we want to share advice and strategies on how to handle the stress and temptations when it comes to staying sober this holiday season. Here are some tips from an article by a wonderful support organization, The Recovery Village; they are based on their article “5 ways to Stay Sober During the Holiday Season.”
1. Put it into Perspective
If you think about it, holidays come and go every year. So take it easy on yourself by remembering that it’s just another 24 hours of working on your recovery. If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of staying sober at a holiday party where there’s going to be alcohol, it’s OK to miss stay at home. There’s always next year when you’ve developed more strategies to handle these situations.
2. Have a Plan
Here are a few strategies you can use…
- Know what you will do if you feel uncomfortable
- Always have a ride or a way out of a party or event
- Have a list of non-alcoholic holiday drinks you can order
- Know how to turn down a drink
- Know what to say when someone won’t let no be no
3. Put Your Recovery First
You want to be the best version of yourself, so if this means skipping certain events or avoiding situations that might trigger you, so be it. It’s important to protect your sobriety.
4. Be Ready to Address Your Sobriety
When someone asks why aren’t you drinking, you can say “you’re the designated driver” or “I have to be up early.” You do not have to justify your sobriety to anyone. However, if you have close friends and loved ones that you want to tell them you are no longer drinking, that’s OK too.
5. Embrace the Gratitude
Write down a daily list of why you’re grateful for your sobriety to help keep it top of mind.
Focus on Your Own Self-Care
As you can see, much of the above advice is focused on self-care. At Gomez Edwards, we see firsthand how self-care helps our clients move forward more confidently. Here are a couple of additional thoughts to help you think more about ways to help yourself:
Self-Care Means Honoring Your Needs and Boundaries
This is something we bring up constantly in many contexts. It is something that seems to be misunderstood and under utilized. Self-care doesn’t mean splurging at the mall, or being overly indulgent. The practice of self-care is about recognizing and honoring your needs and boundaries. For some of us, self-care will mean saying no to friends who we know won’t respect our boundaries around alcohol. For others, self-care means suggesting a different activity where the substance in question will not be present. Self-care is truly about honoring your own boundaries and needs whether that is time alone or being active with friends. Prioritize your boundaries and be clear with yourself so that you can be clear with others.
Practice Being Self-Aware
This is similar to the self-care point. It is important to recognize what triggers us. Is it the stress of being with relatives? Or the stress of planning an event? Perhaps your trigger is being around others who are drinking or partying. Whatever it is, it’s just important that you are aware of what it is so that you can be present and aware when that trigger presents itself.
We hope the tips we’ve shared help you through your journey of sobriety. While we at Gomez Edwards Law Group are not substance abuse experts, our goal is to share resources from other professionals in this field—such as information from therecoveryvillage.com — to help individuals be more successful in their journey. We have seen the above points work for our clients and there is a wealth of information out there that can provide additional insights into maintaining sobriety and avoiding any potential relapses. For the complete article, visit TheRecoveryVillage.com.
Note: Tips from the article “5 Steps to Staying Sober over the Holidays” have been included with permission from TheRecoveryVillage.com
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