Self-care is an important aspect of your recovery and could make all the difference between staying on track and experiencing a relapse. With proper self-care, you can keep your stress at bay and decrease unhealthy behaviors and thoughts that can take away from the fun and joy that can be felt during the holiday season.
1. Know Your Limits: An important part of self-care is knowing your limits. It involves recognizing the situations that may be too triggering or that you are not ready to handle and knowing that is alright. It is okay to not attend certain events, see certain people or to leave an event early.
2. Plan Ahead: Being aware of what events may be too triggering you can make alternative plans. Plan self-care activates ahead of time such as a yoga class, visiting a friend for coffee, meetings, or scheduling a movie night, etc. Plan the things that will help you stay grounded and plan to avoid the things that may put you in stressful situations. Then stick to the plan and remember the big picture of you staying healthy and present over the holiday season.
3. Stay Committed: It’s important to keep your recovery routine throughout the holidays. The holiday season can get busy but it’s important to continue to do the activities that support your health and well-being. Continue to go to your therapy sessions, practice self-soothing techniques that will keep you grounded and on your recovery path. Continue to use your skills and techniques such as positive self-talk and mindfulness to stay connected and present over the holiday season. Don’t be scared to step aside and make time for yourself and your recovery.
4. Be Mindful: We have to be aware of what we are feeling in order to do the things we need to do to support ourselves. Mindfully be aware of how you are feeling throughout the holidays. Research has shown that practicing mindfulness, meditation and yoga has increased emotional regulation, strengthened concentration, promote personal growth and recovery.
5. Communicate with your friends and family: You do not have to go through the holiday season alone. Allow yourself to be supported by your friends and family. You can share your struggles and hard moments with the people you trust most and who can be there for you. Avoid sharing with people that may not understand or who do not have the ability to empathize. Tell your support network how they can be there for you over the holiday, what your boundaries are, what your safety plan is and if things are getting to be too much. Allow yourself the opportunity to be vulnerable and open with the people that are there for you. Also, share your love and appreciation for them.
6. Make time for Joy: Let go of unwanted thoughts and live in the present moment. Enjoy your time with your friends and family and make time to do the things you enjoy. Go to that exercise class, or out for dinner with a friend, walk through the park, and make sure to soak in the special moments. Be kind to yourself and cultivate self-compassion as you move through the holiday traditions and activities you enjoy. It may be different than it was before, but this is new and you can make it much better than it used to be in the past. Having fun is part of your recovery journey.
Remember, taking time for self-care is not being selfish, but rather is what you need to remain healthy and safe, be your true self, and be there for your friends and family in an authentic way. Your recovery is the most important thing over the holidays. If certain people do not understand that it’s okay.
Keep focused on your recovery because you know that it is the only true way you can be there for your family and friends. Enjoy this time and celebrate the small successes and allow yourself to have fun. If you need more support than your family can provide, do not hesitate to reach out to our trained staff at Riviera Recovery. A sense of direction and a renewed commitment to your sobriety is just a phone call away.