While everyone else is singing joy to the world and being merry, you’re finding it hard to drum up your holiday spirit. Instead, you’re feeling sad and depressed during what’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year.
If you’re experiencing the holiday blues while in addiction recovery, you’re not alone. Many people who are currently in recovery feel overwhelmed by what is expected of them at holiday parties and gatherings, especially when meeting new people or being around family members they haven’t seen since they’ve gotten sober.
In this blog post, we will share some tips on how to avoid the holiday blues that can often lead to relapse. May these tips help you stay clean and happy this time of the year.
1) Take Care of Your Physical Health
We always talk about taking care of our mental health but what many people seem to miss is that being physically healthy can have a big impact on our mental health.
If you’re not eating well or exercising regularly, it’s going to be hard for your mind and body to feel good during the holiday season. How can you deal with stress if you’re constantly feeling hungry, sluggish, or tired?
So, make sure to take care of your physical health even when you’re in recovery, especially during the holidays. Make sure you eat healthy food throughout the holidays so that your muscles have enough energy and strength
If going to the gym or signing up for a daily workout routine seems too hard right now due to other commitments, find active things you can do like walking, going for hikes, or taking a bike ride. The point is to make sure you’re staying physically healthy so your mind can follow suit and be strong as well.
2) Stay Organized
One primary cause of feeling the holiday blues is when you’re too stressed out to have a good time. How can you have fun when your mind is so overwhelmed by everything it has to do?
It’s easy for people in recovery to get stressed out from all the things they’re expected to be doing during this season. One way to avoid this is to stay organized. You can plan ahead and keep a calendar of things you need to complete. This can help you stay organized so that you have time to relax.
Don’t worry – you don’t need to fill your calendar to the brim! It’s okay to say no and keep some time for yourself. Make sure that you’re also reserving time for your recovery meetings and therapy session before anything else.
3) Take A Break and Relax
If you feel like it’s all too much, take a step back and have a break. Do something nice for yourself. Take a long bath, read a book, or go out and have coffee with your friends. It’s easy to get overwhelmed during the holidays but you need to make sure that you’re taking time off from all the stress so you can relax as well.
4) Spend Time With Loved Ones
Being alone and keeping yourself isolated is a sure recipe for holiday blues. Remember that it’s important to be surrounded by people you love and those who support your recovery.
5) Limit Your Social Media Use
A lot of times, what you see on social media can be a source of triggers that can make you feel sad or depressed. Maybe it’s seeing photos of your high school friends partying without you or your family member you had a conflict with. You’re bound to see articles, pictures, videos that are full of triggers for you.
Limiting your social media use is a good way to detach yourself from these potential triggers during the holidays. Instead, focus on what’s in front of your eyes and experience life firsthand with the people you care about.
6) Give Back To Others
Giving back to others can give a sense of purpose to your life. It’s important during this time of the year to do something for those who are less fortunate than you. Volunteering is a great way to stay active and contribute to the community.
You can volunteer at a soup kitchen or help out in an animal shelter. You can even go to your old rehab and see what you can do to help other people struggling with substance abuse. These are small ways that can still have a big impact on someone else.
7) Let Go and Move Forward
It’s easy to get stuck on what you’ve lost when it comes to the holidays. Instead of focusing on these things, learn how to let go of the past. Accept that these are things that you cannot undo anymore but you still have a chance to write a new chapter in your life.
Try to learn to forgive yourself so you can move forward with the intention of living a clean, sober life ahead.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Morningside Recovery by Lighthouse.