Despite all of the joy and good tidings it brings, the holiday season can be a time of stress and unrealistic expectations of ourselves and those around us. The stress that these unrealistic expectations cause often leads many to alcohol and other substances in an attempt to cope. The holidays are also a challenge for almost one-third of Americans who struggle financially and can barely make ends meet; the pressure to buy expensive gifts can lead to increased debt and stress.
Ways to Avoid Binge Drinking During Holidays
Whether you yourself are at risk, or you’re concerned about someone who is, here are some ways to avoid being swept up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays:
- Be observant of what’s “normal” – In reality, what’s normal depends on the person. Many people who self-medicate depression, anxiety and grief may be socially outgoing, talkative and regularly show up for work. If you’re worried that someone you care about is struggling with drugs or alcohol, watch for changes from their typical behavior — even if some of these changes may seem more socially acceptable.
- Share your concerns – Having a genuine conversation is vastly different from having a confrontation. Telling someone they have a problem only leads to defensiveness and closing off from communications. The most effective approach is to speak from your perspective as someone who cares and shares what you’re observing, minus judgment or labels.
- Prepare – If you’re the one struggling with alcohol or drug use, it’s important to be aware of things that get under your skin and trigger strong feelings that you may prefer to avoid. Plan ahead for events where you know you’ll be challenged (feeling socially awkward at a party, attending a gathering where family members bring up your past or celebrating with friends who want to toast for the New Year). Having a set plan in place can make all the difference between relapse and recovery during the holiday season.
- Be mindful – Regardless of our best efforts, sometimes we take the path of least resistance. Whether you’re in recovery or have battled with drug or alcohol use, if you notice a pattern of excessive drinking or find yourself turning to alcohol or drugs to manage your emotions, those are major warning signs.
- Ask for help – If you’re concerned about relapsing or worried that you may not be able to make the changes you desire to on your own, don’t delay. Instead, seek help from friends, family and treatment professionals.
At Asana Recovery, we understand that the road to recovery can be a difficult journey. Our belief is that rehabilitation programs are a great tool to use in the fight against dependency! Counseling and aftercare programs can help you address any psychological factors that led you to addiction, as well as get you on the path to a rewarding life of recovery. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to gain more insight about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment processes today.