Self-Care During the Holidays

Protecting Your Sobriety and Preventing Relapse

The holiday season comes with unique stressors and schedule disruptions that other seasons don’t often bring. With holiday get togethers, travel, and managing relationships, sticking to a program or established self-care practice becomes more taxing and less convenient. Additionally, the holidays can be a triggering time for individuals who have experienced difficulties in their family life or upbringing. For those in recovery from a substance use disorder, this is a critical time to take extra steps to ensure that sobriety remains a priority.

Self-Care Tips for Sobriety

Practicing self-care is one of the most effective ways to stabilize your energy and mood, especially during the holidays. Working through emotions, stressors, and daily life requires a lot of effort, so making sure you take care of yourself is key in protecting sobriety. Here are some tips to help you get in the self-care mindset:

  • Take time to reflect on how you are feeling. Check in with yourself and consider journaling, freewriting, or drawing to express your feelings. Doing something that gets feelings and persistent thoughts out of your head and onto paper helps to release them and allows you to clear your mind.
  • Give back to the community. It may not sound like self-care, but the feel-good chemicals released in the brain from giving to those less fortunate are truly transformative. Additionally, giving to others allows us to see our larger place in the world, and to understand the positive impact we can make on others.
  • Share gratitude for the people and things that make your life better. Gratitude practices. support wellness on multiple levels, and remind us of why we have made the commitment to sobriety. Make a physical or mental list of things you’re grateful for. Come back to it when things feel overwhelming.
  • Make plans with friends who support your recovery. There are sober celebrations for every holiday, though sometimes you have to seek them out or create them yourself! Invite friends over to cook and eat holiday dishes, play games, sing karaoke or even go caroling. Laughter and connection with people who care is strong medicine. If you have plans or obligations that might be difficult to cope with, such as a family event, go to a meeting before or set up plans to attend one after the event, giving yourself an extra boost in stability and support.
  • Get outside. Exercising in the crisp air, or at a gym, is a great way to boost your mood, gain energy, and release any anger or resentment you are feeling. Sometimes a simple walk is enough to regain a sense of calm and stability. Whatever activity you choose, moving your body has both physical and psychological benefits.

Whatever your self-care routine looks like, think of things that make you feel at peace, and do them. Whether it’s taking 15 minutes to meditate, getting outside to exercise, or volunteering at a local food bank, take care of yourself so you are set up for success in your sobriety this holiday season.

Self-Care Resource for Chico and Northern California

If you are struggling with getting through the holidays and need some additional support, our professional team of behavioral health care providers can help. We offer compassionate outpatient care and can work with you to set up a plan for success. Whatever level of care you need, we want to help you feel confident in your sobriety this holiday season.

For more information about behavioral health services and resources for self-care in Chico, call (530) 899-3150 or contact us here.