Tips To Staying Sane And Sober Through Christmas And New Year’s

For people in recovery, the holiday season can be the most challenging. It’s the liquor-laden parties, the family gatherings filled with dysfunction and the short, cold days that leave us all feeling a little grizzly. It’s no wonder so many people recovering from addiction plummet into relapse this time of year.

Christians in recovery are just as susceptible as anyone else. We too experience the disappointments, the dread and the temptation to seek a fix. But this is the good news: there’s a lot we can do to not only get through the Christmas season without a slip, but to actually enjoy it.

Tips To Stay Sane And Sober For Christmas And New Year’s

Here are a few tips for surviving and savoring the season—soberly.

Be Present

Beauty Of Christmas His Presence - ChristianDrugRehab.comIt’s so easy to get overwhelmed this time of year with the busyness, the emotions and the end-of-year stress. When we don’t deal with our stress and emotions, they build up. Suddenly we lose it, eating and drinking everything in sight, getting high or diving into the “comfort “ of online porn. All the very things we don’t want to do.

Mindfulness and awareness can help. It means being present in this space of 24 hours—not living too far in the past or the future. It means focusing on where we are and what we’re feeling, paying attention and becoming intentional instead of rushing through our lives in a state of oblivion.

Let yourself be in the moment and experience the wonder of this time of year. If you’re having hard feelings, pay attention to them too; be present with your reality.

Be Grateful

How many times were we told as children that we should be grateful for all we have or that we ought to count our blessings? As a result, some of us can’t help but associate gratitude with punishment. It feels trite. But nothing turns around a case of the bah-humbugs like gratitude. Happy people are grateful people. Store up some good feelings for yourself by expressing your gratitude in prayer—several times a day. If you are sober and in recovery, you already have much to thank Him for.

Be Honest

Are you focusing on how you should feel or on how you actually feel? When we’re honest about what we’re experiencing spiritually and emotionally, we can take the right steps to deal with it. Ignoring and evading the frustrations, stresses, disappointments and anxieties means they’ll come to haunt us when we don’t expect it, like when someone’s in the process of offering us a drink.

If you feel shaky, halt. Are you fighting with your spouse on the way to the Christmas party? Guess what you’re going to want to do the minute you walk in the door? We have to force a stop to the pace of this season. If you’re feeling rushed and jittery, you’re going to be looking for something to calm your nerves. Sit in the car and breathe. Make a phone call to a program friend.

Take Responsibility, Have A Plan

We addicts are crafty and sly. We know exactly which parties are going to have the best drinks, who has what in their liquor cabinets and which back bedroom will be reserved for those who want to get high. We are expertly conditioned to know just where we might obtain a fix and in what groups of people we’re most likely to find fellow users.

Thus, when we fall into a trap, we have to admit we didn’t really fall into it. We often walked into it with our hands held high in surrender. Our resolve can be especially compromised this time of year. That’s why we have to have a plan. It can be as simple as bringing your own non-alcoholic beverages to a party you know will be bathed in booze.

You can also anticipate that some well-meaning friends and family are going to try to get you off the wagon with “just a taste,” cajoling you with, “Oh come on, one drink won’t hurt you.” Or, “Can’t you have a little fun?” Talk to your sponsor and other program friends in advance to get tips for responding to these kinds of remarks.

Start New Traditions

As addicts, we’re used to living for the fix, and December was our heyday—complete with parties and socially acceptable excuses to get drunk or high. Now that we’re sober, it all looks pretty bleak. How do we get into the holiday spirit without spirits?

It’s time to start some new, sober traditions. Remember when you were a child and this time of year was so much fun? There was ice skating and looking at the department store windows, baking Christmas cookies and decorating the tree. You’re never too old to enjoy these simple pleasures.

God is ready to help you not only survive this season sober, but also to experience genuine hope and restoration. Look to Him to guide you through this challenging time of the year and trust in His good purposes. He sent His Son for you—the ultimate expression of love and grace. This is the reality we celebrate and our source of joy this season.

Learn More In  – Can I Trust God To Keep Me Sober?