Ten Tips to Help You Maintain Your Sobriety During the Holidays
Laura Clark Barefoot, Ph.D. / Barefoot Chaplain Intervention Services
December 24, 2015
As anyone of us with addiction knows, getting sober, staying sober, staying away from trigger foods, drinks, and the like is no small task. Determination, support from others, and dedication to live a life of sobriety, especially during the holiday season, is what it takes. The following ten tips can help reinforce your commitment to clean and sober living and remind you of some valuable tools to help you stay on track.
1. Prioritize and start your day with a 12- step meeting.
You might already have a network of support, a sponsor, at your favorite meeting. Help yourself and help others by attending.
2. Stay away from that first drink, your trigger food, the smell of tobacco.
Be proactive by reminding yourself, if you don’t start you will not have to worry about stopping.
3. Remember the serenity prayer.
Pray for the strength to accept the things you cannot change, courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
4. Easy does it.
Pay attention to your valuable feelings. Don’t minimize how you feel. When you feel over whelmed or anxious, take the time out to relax. Take a deep breath and physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually calm yourself.
5. One day at a time.
Use the 24 hour plan. Be realistic and pledge to not take a drink in the next 24 hours, rather than setting long term goals. Decide for the day, you will not take a drink, take a smoke, etc., no matter what.
6. Find a sponsor.
This is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself this holiday season. Check with AA, NA, OA, your rehabilitation center, or your church group; to locate a sponsor to help guide and support your sobriety while providing support only a fellow addict can give.
7. Make use of telephone support.
Exchange phone numbers with others who are in recovery. Use the phone numbers not just when you feel desperate or challenged, but to check in with one another daily during the holiday season when stressors can be at their peak. Encourage others and share your own good news.
8. Be grateful.
Focus on the smallest of things that bring you joy, a dependable friend or loved one, a beautiful day, one more day of sobriety. Make a list of all the things you have to be grateful for. Carry the list in your jacket pocket and read it just as you feel yourself becoming anxious or upset.
Be willing and open to hearing the words of your sponsor and others who have long term sobriety. Keep in mind, new ideas and constructive input.
10. Live in the now.
You cannot change what happened yesterday, you cannot control tomorrow; do your best right now in this moment.