For many, Thanksgiving is a joyful celebration of family and friends, a time when food is plentiful and drinks flow freely. For those who are in addiction recovery, however, this season can be quite challenging. Not only are the holidays often stressful, but easy access to beer and wine can potentially trigger a relapse. For those who are in recovery and looking to maintain their sobriety this Thanksgiving, here are a few practical considerations.

Avoid Relapse This Thanksgiving

Make time for you. While you don’t want to isolate yourself from family and friends, do protect some time when you can be by yourself and recharge your batteries—helping to stay grounded during a potentially stressful season. Keep going to therapy and to meetings. Even during the hectic holidays, don’t blow off support group meetings, therapy sessions, and any other standing appointments. Talk to your therapist/counselor about your particular Thanksgiving-season worries. Know your triggers. If there are people, places, or situations that cause you to stress or that could trigger a relapse, avoid them. Have an escape plan in mind for backing out of stressful situations. Find like-minded people. If you have family members who don’t drink, or who are also in recovery, make sure you buddy up to them. Encourage one another during a potentially challenging season. Be helpful. One way to avoid social situations that call for alcohol consumption is to make yourself useful to the event host; keep yourself busy and productive by lending a hand in the kitchen. Be thankful. It may sound corny, but it really is helpful to practice gratitude daily—and Thanksgiving is an especially good time to do so. Spend a few minutes each morning listing items in a gratitude journal, and give yourself some encouragement. Avoid relapse, and actively protect your recovery—during this and every season. Learn more by connecting with Seacliff on Facebook.
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