Thanksgiving can be a joyous occasion surrounded by family and friends, but for people in recovery, it can also be a stressful event that surrounds them with addiction triggers. If you’re working daily to build lifelong sobriety, these can be very harmful things to subject yourself to because they often lead to relapse.
However, by laying the groundwork ahead of time, you can keep yourself strong and focused on your recovery goals so you can have an enjoyable Thanksgiving without risking your newly healthy lifestyle.
1. Identify Addiction Triggers
Holidays like Thanksgiving can be fraught with addiction triggers. Perhaps there is unresolved tension that always bubbles up when certain members of your family get together, creating a stressful situation that may lead you to relapse into alcohol or drug use to seek escape. Or, maybe your family’s traditions involve drinking during or after the meal. In any case, you should be prepared for how you will handle the day.
2. Be Self-Aware
As much as you may appreciate the opportunity to celebrate a holiday like Thanksgiving, you also know it can put you under a lot of emotional strain. During the holidays, you can fall back into a mindset that puts you at greater risk for temptation and subsequent relapse. Plan to avoid addiction triggers and release emotional tension in a healthy, constructive way. If events become too intense for you, take a walk around the block, or meditate quietly in a room by yourself.
Taking a few minutes to recenter yourself can boost your mood and energy, making the situation feel far easier for you to control.
3. Write Down a List of What You’re Thankful For
Thanksgiving is all about the spirit of gratitude, which is also a common theme of your life in recovery. Making a gratitude journal and keeping it handy can be extremely helpful when you’re stressed out or confronted with a potential addiction trigger.
If you’ve already been sober for a while, write down all the reasons to be thankful for your new lifestyle and the improvements you’ve made in your health and interpersonal relationships. If you are earlier on in the recovery journey, list out what elements of your life you’re trying to improve by becoming drug-free. Use your journal as a source of inspiration on challenging days.
Get Addiction Help in Long Beach, CA
The holidays can be a challenging time of year for people who are struggling with drug or alcohol dependence. If you or someone you love is in active addiction or at increased risk of relapsing, contact New Found Life today to get the help you need. With 25 years of helping adults successfully break the cycle of addiction, we equip you with the tools to live a healthy and hope-filled life.