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Christmas in recovery

16 December 2016

Christmas can be a difficult time for many people in recovery.  Part of recovery is about being prepared and devising strategies to deal with potential or presenting situations.

In 2014 Kirby Gregory published a blog which gave some very helpful support for this time of year.  It seems right to reprise his 12 ideas which may help you get through the festive period:

1.  Make a relapse-prevention plan for each day of the holiday period, to include daily fellowship meetings.  Check your local area as there are usually extra meetings and social gathering scheduled to help people who are struggling.
2.  Plan activities such as exercise, walking, relaxation, thus avoiding the temptation to ‘veg out’ alone at home.
3.  Plan, if possible, to be with other recovering people or people who support your recovery.
4.  Have breaks from stressful situations by meeting friends for coffee, going for a walk, to the gym etc.
5.  Make a list of people you can call if things get difficult – at least five names – and carry the list and your phone with you at all times.
6.  Do service in the 12-Step fellowships or volunteer to help other charities such as Helping the Homeless.
7.  Do a daily gratitude list to help keep your spirits up.
8.  Try to have everything you might need at home in advance to avoid wandering the streets looking for shops on the main holidays, as most shops open will be off-licenses.  Try to include plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and healthy food which you enjoy.
9.  Avoid isolation and listening to music which can trigger sadness or uncomfortable feelings.
10.  Avoid pubs, clubs, restaurants or other ‘wet’ places.  Do not be tempted to ‘test yourself’.
11.  Do not get into arguments, squabbles or unhealthy dynamics with friends or family members, especially if they have been drinking.
12.  ‘Keep it in the day’.  Each day of the festive season is just another 24 hours, so try not to give it any more power than that.  Enjoy your Christmas and New Year, one day at a time.

Best wishes from everyone at Action on Addiction.

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