Navigating through Christmas with an Alcohol Addiction may seem impossible. Alcohol is promoted, consumed, and accepted at a much higher rate throughout the festive period.
Being surrounded by heavy drinking habits and their normalisation can be challenging for those with alcohol problems or addiction histories. Christmas is a time to get merry, break away from routine, and celebrate to the average person. To the average addict, it’s a battlefield of triggers, urges and uncontrollable feelings.
Whilst challenges are expected, there are ways of navigating through Christmas with alcohol addiction. Saying no, staying clean, and remaining focused on the resolutions of the New Year are strong starting points.
Here’s how to start and continue to remain sober, beyond Christmas, with our help at Rehab Clinics Group.
Saying NO! to alcohol during the holiday season
This Christmas, it may feel challenging or abnormal to say no to alcohol-fuelled activities and events. The fear of missing out is one of many reasons why addicts throw in the towel or feel influenced to consume alcohol. Most get-togethers, festive parties and celebrations are underpinned and motivated by alcohol consumption.
To the average person, alcohol is viewed as a relaxing agent, and however, it’s an addictive, influential and damaging substance for someone with alcohol addiction, far from its general image.
If you’re suffering, alcohol consumption should be avoided for this exact reason, and it’s also the reason why you should minimise your exposure to alcohol-fuelled events. Unless you’re surrounded by other addicts, recovering addicts or family members/friends who support you and understand your alcohol problems, social pressures and influences can be rife through this time of year.
Saying no to alcohol doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy your time, attend events, and get involved, and it just means that you can reduce your cravings, manage your recovery, and prevent relapse. Navigating through Christmas with an alcohol addiction will be possible by saying no and following our tips below.
Tips on staying sober during the Christmas period
Staying sober over the Christmas period is encouraged for those who struggle with addictive associations. As it’s an influential time, which fuels alcohol consumption and acceptance, justifications can become easier to make. Instead of needing to withdraw and realign after Christmas, you should instead aim to navigate through the period as sober. Here’s how with some of our tips at Rehab Clinics Group.
Set yourself some boundaries
To enjoy the festive period, you will need to set some boundaries. You should be aware of the type of situations or stimuli which trigger your alcohol cravings and consumption. With awareness, you can set some boundaries to ensure that risks of relapse are low. Boundaries can be anything from limiting your time with certain people to completing a particular task each day.
Be aware of relapse and its signs
A relapse can be displayed through thoughts, feelings, and justifications, along with actual consumption. Being aware of this is very important, as you may encounter some signs throughout the festive period. Taking action will be necessary to avoid any form of escalation and to remain on track for alcohol addiction recovery.
Communicate your plans to others
Navigating through Christmas with an alcohol addiction shouldn’t be an independent process. You should feel supported and encouraged whilst setting such strong intentions. Communicating your plans to family members and friends, to those that you trust, your sponsor and support group peers is encouraged. The more that you share, the greater your accountability levels will be.
Restrict yourself from high-risk situations
Some situations will rank as high-risk for you. High-risk situations may include areas with high alcohol exposure, contact with certain people, or certain activities linked to Christmas. By restricting yourself in those situations, the risks of relapse will be lower.
Spend time with positive and supportive people
Experiencing Christmas with an alcohol addiction can be difficult for some, especially lonely ones who feel isolated or feel judged by loved ones. You should aim to spend your time with people who understand your diagnosis, who can help you spot your triggers and minimise them, and with naturally optimistic people. People who do not rely on alcohol for a good time will also be a good fit.
Keep yourself busy with positive activities
Instead of focusing on the things that you cannot do this Christmas, focusing on the positive activities that you can do is encouraged. There are many festive activities that you can participate in, feel involved in, and feel normal without consuming alcohol.
Be picky with how you spend your time
You have the right to be picky with how you spend your festive season. Although alcohol-fuelled activities should be off the cards, you can be selective about the type of get-togethers and settings that you entertain. If you’re concerned that a particular party will be too much or that a specific family member will make you feel stressed, you have the right to pass.
Keep in a routine
Navigating through Christmas with an alcohol addiction will be eased with a routine. You should keep to a routine that works for you, that oozes balance and positivity, and that helps you cope. A feasible routine is great for mental health and taking each day as it comes. You can check off each day by following your routine within the festive period.
Navigating through addiction beyond Christmas
If you’re hoping to remain sober this Christmas and to start as you mean to go on, you can look to stop drinking with our help at Rehab Clinics Group.
Working through Christmas without relapsing is a positive sign, indicating that recovery from alcohol abuse and addiction can be for the long term. The festive period is one of the most challenging times to remain balanced and mindful. Yet, it is doable and can set the tone for your new sober intentions.
Our group of rehab clinics provide addiction treatment programmes, medical advice, support for families and friends, and mental health support. We will continue to operate through the festive period, offering various treatment options. We will also be here to help you recover with sustainability in mind beyond Christmas.
Completing addiction treatment, investing yourself into relapse prevention planning, attending support groups and following our above tips will be effective. Reach out for our full support to guide you through Christmas and the daily challenges with alcohol addiction.