The holidays can be rough for someone who has just left rehab. With the numerous gatherings and festivities, it can feel like you’re navigating a minefield. Here are 9 common holiday triggers to avoid after rehab treatment.
Stressful family relationships
The holidays are a time when families gather. Unfortunately, some family members can be difficult, annoying, or toxic. Dealing with them over the holidays can cause stress, anxiety, or depression which can in turn trigger cravings.
Holiday parties and events
Holiday festivities mean lots of parties and gatherings and some of these will feature alcohol. This can make it difficult for newly sober people to enjoy themselves. Choose wisely which parties to attend and avoid those where the focus is on alcohol or getting high.
There’s often a lot to get done before and after the holidays and it can be hard to find time for activities such as journaling, meditation, exercising, or any others that help keep you grounded. As a result, you end up feeling off balance, drained, and stressed which might trigger a relapse.
Pressure to be perfect
During the holidays, you may feel pressured to throw the perfect party, have a perfectly decorated house, or prepare a perfect meal. Remind yourself that no one is perfect and resist the urge to give in to the pressure.
Shopping for gifts and having to face crowds, inflated prices, and the financial strain of the holidays can quickly lead to stress and anxiety. This can lead to cravings to lose yourself in alcohol or other substances. To combat this, have a budget and stick to it.
Traveling over the holidays can be hectic, stressful, and financially draining. Additionally, it can disrupt your schedule, causing you to skip your recovery meetings or outpatient treatment appointments. Luckily, these days there are virtual telemedicine therapy sessions when attending an in-person session isn’t an option.
Reminiscing about past holidays
Nostalgia can hit hard over the holidays, bringing with it feelings of guilt, loneliness, and depression. Glamourizing past holidays when you used to drink or use drugs may lead to unintentional relapse.
Family traditions involving alcohol
After rehab, you need to maintain an alcohol-free home but this may be difficult if you have family traditions that involve alcohol. However, nothing stops you from creating new traditions that everyone can enjoy without focusing on drinking.
Returning to your hometown or childhood home
Seeing people you used to get high with or places you used to drink can trigger cravings or relapse. To deal with this, plan in advance what you’ll do if faced with a tempting situation and have an accountability partner with you. Let our addiction specialists help you or your loved one maintain long-term sobriety during the holidays. To learn more about addiction triggers, contact Impact Outpatient Program today by calling us or completing our confidential online form. We are ready to help you.