The holidays are a stressful time of year! People in and out of recovery run around worrying about things or trying to make things perfect. There’s too much traffic, stores always seem crowded, and there never seem to be enough hours in the day! Does this sound familiar? The holidays can make everything seem frantic.

We all feel stress. But the holidays only come once a year. So you only have to get through them clean and sober.

Here are some tips to make the holidays a little easier:

  • Don’t overpromise anything. You may think that you’re the only one who can help do certain things or feel guilty about things from the past. Don’t get trapped! You’re not superman/woman. Focus on doing just a few things, and say “no” if you feel overwhelmed.
  • Sometimes a material gift doesn’t matter. Helping out in the kitchen, doing dishes, raking leaves, or helping somebody learn how to use their new gadget is a great way to give back to people you care about.
  • Go to meetings when you can. Don’t ever cancel recovery meetings, phone calls with your sponsor or support network. Your recovery program should always come first.
  • Reach out to others in recovery. Your sponsor, friends, or newcomers will appreciate your well-wishes. Send them a text to ask how they’re doing. Wish them a good day.
  • Don’t isolate if you’re feeling lonely. Go to a 12-step meeting and speak up if you’re feeling lonely. Nobody wants you to feel left out. Ask for help!
  • Take time for self-care. This means taking a long shower or bath, giving yourself time for meditation, or making sure you’re able to take your morning run. It’s the little things that help you keep going when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
  • Don’t beat yourself up for the past. You can’t change it. You can only be a better person today – so take the time to work on yourself. You’re worth it, today and every day!

Recovery is a journey, not a destination. This time of year can play tricks on your mind, and there are a lot of triggers you can encounter. Just remember to take the season a day at a time, and pick up the phone if you’re feeling low. Some people want to help you! You’re never alone.

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