The holiday season is upon us- time for festivity and cheer and love! No matter what winter holidays you celebrate, this time of the year has a way of lifting the spirit.
It’s also a time that can dredge up a lot of stress and negative memories for some people. While it’s necessary to work through those emotions and traumas, getting through the holiday season and maintaining your sobriety is entirely possible. Here’s how:
Get a Head Start on Preparing for the Holidays!
Preparing for the holidays requires planning- a lot of it. Getting a head start on holiday plans is crucial to keeping things rolling smoothly. Begin making your plans now: from where your festivities will be hosted to what kind of decorations you want to display, planning can be tons of fun!
Take this time to get creative! When you go out for groceries and household items, go ahead and peek at the holiday decor for an idea of what you want to do. Or, you can stick to your traditional decorations- using those items that have been in your family for decades or even generations.
Having your plans in place allows you to take your time and maintain your focus on sobriety. Getting ahead of yourself or leaving things to last minute breeds stress and can derail one from their ultimate goals of long-term sobriety.
Divide and Conquer
Once you’ve set your plans, get them rolling with the help of your friends and family! Divide and conquer to make the process of preparing for the holidays smoother and more inclusive. Just make sure you follow up to ensure everyone can handle their assigned tasks.
Want to handle it all yourself? That’s okay- just make sure you give yourself enough time to take care of everything.
It’s the first week of November, so why not start decorating first? Yes, yes, I can already hear the complaints of ‘what about Thanksgiving?!” but getting decorations up helps to boost the holiday spirit. Even if you don’t put everything up at once, a little tinsel or holiday lights here and there won’t hurt anyone.
Be sure you organize your list of tasks by priority so you don’t forget anything important or find yourself with groceries for Christmas dinner on November 10th.
Keep a Handle on the Stress
No matter what you do, the holidays are stressful. But you can be proactive in managing your stress levels to keep yourself from slipping down a dangerous path to relapse. Give yourself time to relax and wind down; don’t neglect your self-care regimen. It’s the holidays, enjoy yourself and the company you keep!