Recovery and The Holidays

Recovery at the best of times, can be challenging.  Getting into a routine and structure is never easy.  The holidays makes this challenge even bigger.  The whole world goes into a party mode and the temptation is all around you.  It’s also the time of the year when you start looking at achievements and the lack thereof.  Depression increases and feelings of loneliness appear more overwhelming.

Eden Recovery Centre has a few tips to help you during this time to stay on the road of recovery:

Tip 1:  Sleep

Getting enough rest is crucial.  Maintaining your sleeping pattern ensures that you don’t make decisions while tired.  In recovery the HALT is one of the foundations of cravings.  Hunger, anger, lonely and tired.  Ensuring that you get about 8 hours sleep a day would assist.

Tip 2:  Be selective

During this period you will get a lot of invitations to functions.  Year-end functions, parties and lunches will be at the order of the day.  Before accepting an invitation, ask yourself if it will influence and jeopardise your recovery?  Those functions that you know will be a trigger or a dangerous situation, will still continue even if you are not there.  Keep yourself safe and if you absolutely have to attend, have an exit plan and a safe person with you.

Tip 3:  What’s in your glass only matters to you

When everybody around you is having a good time, they don’t look at your glass.  Have your favourite soft drink with you all the time and never leave your glass unattended.  Have a standard answer ready for the awkward question why you are not drinking.

Tip 4:  Have a back-up plan

When planning a safe event, people cancel.  This is the time when the dangerous party suddenly looks appealing.  Have a back-up for anything.  A safe back-up plan always leaves you in control and takes the urge to put yourself at risk away.

Tip 5:  Location

When meeting friends or family, chose the location.  Somewhere where the temptations are limited.  Nowhere is 100% safe, but make it as safe as possible.

Tip 6:  Spend time with recovery buddies

The Fellowship is there to assist you.  Attend meetings and spend time with likeminded people who will understand your individual situation.

Tip 7:  Remember the sober days

Remind yourself why you are doing this and that 1 month cannot break your progress.  Be thankful for your sober days and find reasons why you want more of them.

Tip 8:  Call your sponsor

Stay in contact with your sponsor on a daily basis during this time.  Sponsors have been through these holiday times and will be able to assist.  Speaking to your sponsor is not putting them out, it’s why they are there.  To help.

Tip 9:  Stay busy

Start planning daily activities and finish that project that you never did.  Make a list of to do things and get started.  Tick them off as you go along.

Tip 10:  Have Safe fun

Remember to have fun.  Recovery is not punishment.  Find safe ways for you to have fun and celebrate recovery.


These tips are a start.  Find safe people and have at least 6 numbers that you can phone anytime.  Your recovery comes first.  And always remember, “Just for Today” you can do it!

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