The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. For people in recovery, however, the holidays can be a time of stress and anxiety. The holidays are a busy, often hectic, time for many people. Dealing with family issues, shopping, financial problems, or a packed schedule can trigger anxiety or depression and lead to a relapse. Successful stress management is crucial for relapse prevention and is a necessary element in a person’s overall wellness. Georgia Addiction Treatment Center can guide you through managing stress during this time.
Five Techniques to Successful Stress Management
Addiction treatment centers provide various treatment programs, individual therapy appointments, and resources to help you manage stress and keep you on track with your recovery goals. Even the best recovery can be challenged by the approach of the holidays. Old urges have a way of suddenly reappearing, making relapse a genuine and ever-present possibility.
When you learn to manage your anxiety or depression, you can enjoy the holidays without drinking or taking drugs. If you have any further questions on how to relieve stress this holiday season, contact a rehab center in your area.
Learn to Say No
One of the reasons why you may be stressed out every holiday season is because you are the one who ends up being in charge of everything. Whether it’s hosting parties, planning corporate events, highly visible in the community, or going on massive shopping sprees for your family, you’re suddenly handling many responsibilities. At some point, you have to stop allowing others to put you in charge of too many things. If you are going to successfully maintain your mental health between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, you need to learn to say no more and take on less.
One of the things you may have learned in your individual therapy program is meditation or mindfulness. Developing these skills can be especially helpful during the hectic holiday season. When you are feeling stressed, take a moment to meditate or practice mindfulness. You may also want to schedule some time in the morning or before you go to bed to practice meditation. Anything that can help put you in a better, more peaceful, frame of mind is helpful for keeping you from falling victim to a relapse during the holidays.
Know Your Triggers
One of the benefits of a substance abuse treatment program is that you can identify your triggers and the emotional connection you make with drugs or alcohol. Avoiding your triggers is key to both stress management and relapse prevention. Common triggers during the holidays may include:
- Holiday celebrations
- Family conflict
- Anxiety and depression
- Eating too much/not exercising
- Presence of alcohol or drugs
- Being alone too long
Before you go to a party or put yourself in any potentially challenging situation, you need to assess what triggers could lead to a relapse. For instance, if you attend a family gathering, which family members do you need to limit contact with so that you do not get angry, bitter, or emotional?
Take Some Alone Time
While it’s never good to be alone for too long during recovery, it is also good not to be around people 24/7. There are times when you may need to be alone for a few hours.
Alone time should be about carving out time for yourself. You can read a book, do a hobby, watch TV, or take a pleasant nap. Make sure you spend time relaxing and not trying to catch up on chores during your alone time.
Stick to Your Budget
One of the biggest stressors during the season is money. There never seems to be enough of it. Yet, you may spend money on things you can’t afford and blow your budget. This year, get in front of the holiday season by establishing a budget and sticking to it. You may have to be more creative in finding gifts. However, that is far less stressful than not covering your expenses or getting behind on your bills.
Georgia Addiction Treatment Center Offers Relapse Prevention Programs
If you would like to learn more about stress management and relapse prevention techniques you can use this holiday season, contact Georgia Addiction Treatment Center. We offer addiction treatment therapies that help you reduce stress and overcome your addiction. Call Georgia Addiction Treatment Center at 855.952.3546 to get started with your treatment program.