For many people, holidays are joyous occasions that bring family and friends together. However, for those in recovery, the holidays can be filled with endless addiction triggers that lead to relapse. This is especially true if holidays were traditionally times when drug use or drinking were at their heaviest.
If you are recovering from an addiction, you need to safeguard yourself against holiday addiction triggers. You probably learned many of these triggers in your individual therapy program. However, the holidays can cause triggers that are associated with the season. Identifying these triggers before you enter the holidays can help you create a game plan to overcome them. Please reach out to The Willows at Red Oak today by calling 855.773.0614 for assistance in this task or to learn about our women’s relapse prevention plan.
4 Common Holiday Addiction Triggers
1. Holiday Shopping
Few people get excited about holiday shopping anymore. Many people resort to shopping online to find gifts for their loved ones or friends. Regardless of how you shop, it can create a tremendous amount of stress that you may not be ready to face. If you are struggling with financial problems, you may encounter various addiction triggers that can lead to an addiction.
You may have learned about how to deal with stressful financial situations in your substance abuse treatment program. If so, one way to relieve stress is to set a holiday budget and prioritize your gift recipients. Sit down and decide how much money you can spend and whom you want to buy presents for this year.
Alternatively, you may benefit from creating homemade gifts, rather than buying them. Making cookies or fudge is a great gift for those you care about, without breaking the bank. Alternatively, if you’re good at a specific craft or hobby, you can offer your services to your loved ones.
2. Dealing with Difficult Relatives
Every family has them: relatives that seem to get on your nerves or cause problems. Conversely, you may have some deep-seated family conflict that has not been resolved. Either way, being around family is not always enjoyable during the holidays. You may find that you need to avoid some people to keep the peace.
However, the holidays can present opportunities to reconcile differences. If you can apologize for past wrongs or talk about problems you’ve avoided, now is your chance. If you need to deal with more severe issues, a family therapy program gives you a platform for you and your family to finally deal with problems that have been lingering. Once you get through these issues, you may be able to enjoy your time with your family again. Alternatively, you may decide that it is time to remove yourself from the relationship for a short period of time.
3. Returning to Trigger Areas
Part of recovering from alcohol or drug addiction means removing yourself from unhealthy environments that fueled your addiction. Or it means going to an addiction treatment program in another town. Separation from trigger areas gives you the ability to focus on your recovery without distraction. You have a better chance of completing your treatment program.
However, if you are returning home for the first time after rehab, you may not be prepared for the emotional triggers you will likely face. If you are still in therapy, then talk to your therapist about the situation at home and what you need to do to avoid your triggers.
4. Busy Schedules
Up until now, you have been able to develop and maintain a steady routine. Your routine has created stability internally and externally, giving you the motivation to keep going with your recovery goals. However, with holidays coming up, sticking to your schedule will be difficult, as you are likely to be pulled in different directions.
Taking on too much and staying busy during the holidays can lead to various addiction triggers such as anxiety or depression. Before things get too busy, choose your activities and events wisely. Learn to say no and put aside any major responsibilities this year. Instead, relax and learn to enjoy the holidays again.
Contact The Willows at Red Oak Recovery
At The Willows at Red Oak Recovery, we understand the challenges surrounding sobriety during the holidays. However, we also know that there are strategies that you can use during the holidays and throughout the year. We offer a range of therapeutic options, which we tailor to the needs of the women we treat. For instance, our therapeutic options include treatments such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Wilderness therapy
- EMDR therapy
We can help you manage your sobriety during the holidays so that you can maintain your journey to recovery. Don’t allow the holidays to derail your recovery efforts. If you need additional counseling or are looking for a support group or alumni group, contact The Willows at Red Oak Recovery at 855.773.0614. Let us help you get connected to a support network that helps you avoid your addiction triggers.