Thanksgiving is a time to gather and celebrate with family and loved ones. In theory, it allows people to reflect on what they are grateful for while enjoying some good food. However, Thanksgiving can feel like a minefield for those recovering from trauma, mental health issues, or addiction. Like any holiday where drinking is common, maintaining a sober Thanksgiving while avoiding triggers can be difficult. Unfortunately, family is often a primary trigger when it comes to anxiety and other social triggers.
At The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, we know the holiday season often comes with stress, temptations, and triggers, all of which can lead to a return to use (commonly referred to as “relapse”). Our anxiety treatment center provides a structured environment to teach women life skills to carry over to situations, like holidays and family gatherings, where triggers are abundant. Contact us at 855.773.0614 to speak with a trained representative about our treatment programs.
How to Manage Your Anxiety This Thanksgiving
Holidays like Thanksgiving can be challenging to manage in many cases. However, there’s an added layer of difficulty if you have a dual diagnosis, such as a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and addiction to drugs or alcohol. Without these common so-called social lubricants, the holiday season can be a real challenge. You may be in a position where you must navigate the personalities of people you otherwise may try to avoid to maintain your sobriety.
It’s important to remember that you have to look out for your well-being. It’s never worth risking a return to use or relapse to attend an event. If those you choose to keep as a part of your life care about you, they will understand if you need to protect yourself by opting out of certain events. Keeping yourself safe (even with some feelings of disappointment) is better than dealing with the repercussions of relapse. Below are steps that you can take if you do choose to attend your family’s Thanksgiving celebration.
Creating a Safe Space For Yourself
If you attend a Thanksgiving celebration, it’s okay to ask family, loved ones, and friends to make sure the environment is a safe space for you. For instance, you may want to have coping mechanisms in place. This might mean that instead of staying over at your parents’ house, you choose to stay at a hotel where you can decompress after the celebration. However, it could also mean making sure there are non-alcoholic beverages at the event, so you do not have to worry about being called out for the appearance of acting differently than others.
Non-alcoholic beverage options for your Thanksgiving celebration could include:
- Seltzer or sparkling water (which comes in a variety of flavors)
- Mineral water
- Mocktails, which are imitations cocktails that contain non-alcoholic ingredients
- Soda and juice
- Tea and coffee
- And remember that specialty coffee drinks are very popular this time of year if you want to join in with something that feels more festive!
Remember, standing up for your needs is not selfish. It’s essential to set appropriate boundaries. Your loved ones should understand that you are simply taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself. If they have trouble understanding your choices, it’s okay to say that you will not be able to attend this year’s celebration. You can be the responsible person in this situation by not self-sabotaging and putting yourself in a situation with high-risk triggers.
What an Anxiety Treatment Center Can Offer
Anxiety impacts millions of people across the country. Sadly, most of these individuals do not receive proper diagnosis or support for their mental health challenges. The anxiety treatment center for women at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® provides a safe space for women who struggle with many forms of anxiety and may have a dual diagnosis.
When entering into treatment at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, all clients undergo an assessment from expert medical practitioners. Together, clients and doctors create a personalized treatment plan to help learn coping mechanisms that can assist in daily living.
Common anxiety diagnoses include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorders
- Social anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Trauma is often a source of anxiety in women. We can provide trauma-informed care for the women in our care to support those battling anxiety due to trauma.
There’s a common link between anxiety and substance abuse. Self-medicating is often desirable for those who have undiagnosed anxiety or untreated mental health issues. Getting at the root cause of these issues is an essential aspect of care and treatment.
Contact The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® Today
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® offers an anxiety treatment center designed specifically for women. We provide comprehensive treatment to address issues with anxiety, mental health, and overall well-being. We do our best to create a home-like environment where our clients feel safe to open up about their experiences and find coping mechanisms to create a happier, healthier lifestyle. Reach out to us today at 855.773.0614 to speak with a trained representative.