Everybody knows that the holidays can be stressful; even for those who take great delight in the season, it’s easy to become fatigued, burned out, and anxious. For those in recovery, this threat is all the more pronounced—and stress can ultimately be a trigger for relapse or for stalled recovery. The good news is, you can cope with seasonal stress. Here are some of the most common causes of Thanksgiving stress, as well as some tips for coping.

What Causes Thanksgiving Stress?

Family Tension When there’s tension within family dynamics, that can set everyone on edge. Remember:
  • You can only control you; don’t worry about controlling or convincing others.
  • You can leave a family gathering early if it becomes too stressful. Have an exit plan in place.
  • It’s wise to bring a sober friend who can help you mitigate some of this family tension.
Family Absence For others, the big cause of seasonal stress is loneliness—a lack of family connection. Some tips:
  • Reconnect with dear friends.
  • Spend some time volunteering.
  • Find a recovery support group.
Hosting Responsibilities If you’re in charge of cooking or hosting a holiday gathering, that can certainly be cause for stress. Ways to cope:
  • Delegate.
  • Suggest going potluck this year.
  • Order some pre-prepared food from local delis or restaurants.
  • Do plenty of cooking and prep work in advance—as much as you are able to.
No Support A final cause of Thanksgiving stress: No support in your recovery. If you feel like you’re alone and need someone to guide and encourage you, we are here for you. Reach out to get the therapeutic structure you need this holiday season. Contact the Seacliff Recovery team today. Learn more by connecting with Seacliff on Facebook.
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