Preparing Yourself for the Holidays and Addiction Triggers

Preparing Yourself for the Holidays and Addiction Triggers

Staying sober can be a challenge, and that is never more true than during the holidays.  From October to January, the world may feel like a field filled with holiday trigger recovery landmines. Time with relatives, dealing with strained relationships, and holiday parties can be very overwhelming. You might be wondering how in the world anyone stays sober during this time, but at Laguna View Detox, we’re here to help you see that the holidays and relapse do not have to go hand in hand. 

Why Holidays and Relapse Often Go Hand in Hand

Holidays and relapse often go hand in hand because the holidays are filled with a lot of stress.  Right or wrong, the holidays are often a time of financial stress for many of us as we feel obligated to buy presents we may not be able to afford.  Spending money we don’t have and straining our budgets is but one of the holiday stressors.  We may also find ourselves spending time at family gatherings sitting amid strained relationships, family drama, and even family trauma.  All of that would be stressful enough without alcohol or drugs present, but family gatherings and workplace gatherings will often have the alcohol available and flowing.  When you mix stress, family, and alcohol, it’s not surprising that anyone relapses at the holidays.  Still, it’s not a requirement. 

Tips for Managing Triggers Around the Holidays

The first step in managing your triggers is knowing what they are. Often the work we do in recovery helps us to learn these triggers.  Whether in rehab, therapy, or in recovery groups, we spend time and effort examining the things that may have contributed to our drug use. However, it’s common for us to discover some of our triggers at the moment we experience them. It is those triggers that pop up unexpectedly that can catch us off guard and require a plan. You might be wondering how you plan for something that you don’t know will happen, and that’s fair.  But let’s be honest, we all know we are going to be triggered at the holidays. Getting sober doesn’t create a problem-free world for us, only the ability to deal with it sober. 


Staying sober at the holidays is much like staying sober at any other time.  You need to have a plan. Most important, you must always have an exit strategy.  If at all possible, take your own car or plan your own transportation so that you can exit when it’s needed. If you’re traveling to see relatives or friends during the holidays, you may not be able to remove yourself from the situation entirely, so you need coping strategies.  Make a list of things you can do to reset yourself when you’re feeling stressed.  You might go for a quick walk, find a quiet place to meditate for a moment, practice box breathing, make a mental gratitude list, or even just go into the bathroom to take a break. Finally, remember that you have likely built a support system of other folks in recovery, and a quick call to talk can change everything. 


Avoiding Relapse With the Help of Laguna View Detox

Maybe you’ve decided that you need extra help during the holidays this year.  At Laguna View Detox, we have a wide variety of programs to support you. We have the tools and expertise to enable you to make it through the holidays without relapsing.  However, if you find that you’ve relapsed, we’re also here to help you get back on the road to recovery.  We provide luxurious, inpatient rehab treatment in one of the most beautiful areas in California. We are dedicated to seeing you succeed. Contact us today and let us help you with your addiction!