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December 15, 2020

Staying sober, clean and serene during the holiday season

How to enjoy time with friends & family while maintaining recovery

Addiction Recovery

Content sponsored by Limited - RCA at Devon Sponsorship Badge

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The holiday season can sometimes make recovery more difficult, especially for people in early recovery. Traditions that often highlight the very things you’re trying to leave behind, like drinking and parties, can be hard to modify or forego, leaving those in recovery with a difficult decision of choosing to see friends and family who may be triggers, or risking isolation by staying home—neither choice conducive to ongoing recovery.

If you’re new to recovery and nervous about the approaching holidays, Recovery Centers of America wants you to know there are ways to set yourself up for a successful holiday season with friends and family, while remaining substance-free.

1. Create a plan in advance for your holiday season

Holidays can be stressful, but you can stay on track with your recovery by understanding and working through triggering scenarios before they happen. For example, this year, holidays will be different than ever before, as many families won’t be able to see each other in real time—but that doesn’t negate the stress that families can cause during this time. Knowing who you’ll see and when, whether virtually or in person, can help prepare you for family stress as well as ensure you’ll stick to your recovery plan. You will also want to equip yourself with a one-liner that explains your personal needs in a polite, but firm way.

2. Modify old traditions or create new ones

A lot of families and friend groups have traditions that involve drinking during the holidays. Decide whether you’re comfortable partaking in the activity with a non-alcoholic beverage and sober buddy, or whether you’d prefer not to go at all.

With indoor activities limited this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, this can be a great time to suggest some new outdoor activities over the holiday season, such as ice skating, snowball fights, or taking a socially-distanced walk or hike. Combining some fresh air, a new scene, and your loving support system is a great way to clear your head and stay sober during the holidays. Many people will jump at the chance to try something new—especially those that are a part of your support system. It provides an opportunity to help you continue your journey in a fun way.

3. Talk to and laugh with your support system frequently

Stick to the people who build you up this holiday season, not the ones who test you or tempt you. Whether this is a friend, family, or your sponsor, Recovery Centers of America suggests staying in close contact with them during these times.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little more support at this time of year. It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed, to be stressed out, and to feel urges that you thought you had under control. Whether it’s a quick conversation with a friend to ease your mind, or a more in-depth conversation with your sponsor that gets down to the nitty gritty, don’t be afraid to lean on your support system during the holiday season. And don’t forget — laughter is the best medicine! Some conversations might be difficult to have, but a little bit of laughter can make you and your support system feel more at ease.

Your support system has one common goal: to help you, motivate you, and watch you succeed. Airing out your fears or frustrations is another part of continued recovery, and they want to be a part of helping you succeed. They will be thankful to know that they make a difference in your recovery, especially during the season of giving.

As part of your support system this holiday season, Recovery Centers of America is hosting a variety of virtual events that are free for anyone to attend, to help you stay on track.

 Date TimeEvent  Event Description Registration
 Friday, Dec. 18 7-8 p.m. Brandon Novak Pro Skateboarder, Actor, NY Times Bestselling Author, Motivational Speaker in RecoveryRegister Here
Saturday, Dec. 19 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.Seeds to Recovery This is for anyone who wants to learn more about addiction recovery. Register Here
Saturday, Dec. 19 7-8 p.m.Holiday Trivia This round of trivia will feature questions from your favorite holiday movies, songs, and traditions. Register Here
Sunday, Dec. 20  11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Recovery Yoga with Satya Dass Empower yourself with practices that support recovery while enhancing physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. No experience necessary! Register Here

These offerings are designed to meet your individual needs, rather than being one-size-fits all programs. Every event is unique, designed to offer each recovering individual the option to participate in what helps them the most. Hear from motivational speakers in recovery, participate in recovery yoga, listen to recovery comedy, or even play some recovery trivia. Whatever makes you feel relaxed, at ease, and ready to take on the holidays free from addiction is open to you.

You don’t need to have been a patient at Recovery Centers of America or alumni to attend these events—they are open to all.

If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs or alcohol, Recovery Centers of America answers the phone and accepts patients 24/7/365 – even during the holidays. RCA has two nearby inpatient and outpatient treatment centers— Recovery Centers of America at Devon in Devon, Pennsylvania, and Recovery Centers of America at Lighthouse in Mays Landing, New Jersey.

Have a safe and healthy holiday season—you’ve got this!

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