22 Nov 2021

Getting through Thanksgiving (sober)

Stay Sober and Sane at Thanksgiving

The winter holidays are around the corner, with Thanksgiving kicking off the season. This is a time for many to rejoice and relax; however, it can still be a stressful time for different people from all walks of life - especially those working toward sobriety.

The holidays are a famous time for family drama to sprout up for some, and for loneliness to settle in for others. Often we find that the things that give us the greatest pleasures in life can also be emotionally draining. This can be a heavy weight for people who are working to recover from drug and alcohol addiction, as stress and temptation pile on.

The good news is that you are not alone. There are many people battling addiction through the holiday season, and many more that struggle with their emotions through this time. Not only should you feel a sense of solidarity, of all those people rooting for you, but you can also benefit from these great tips on staying sober through Thanksgiving from people that have been there.

Get into the right state of mind

Once you decide to join the season’s festivities, get excited about it. After RSVP’ing for Thanksgiving, close your eyes and imagine the home you will be in (if you have been there before). Visualize the dinner and celebration unfolding and picture yourself having fun and laughing without having any alcohol.

A part of getting yourself into the proper headspace is to accept that there will likely be others there who will be drinking alcohol. This can be very tempting for most alcoholics, especially if they are early in the recovery process. Preparing yourself mentally can do wonders to help overcome the situation, but you may find that it is best for you to go to a different room and otherwise get some space from people drinking - and that is perfectly alright.

Stock up on anti-stressors

Before entering recovery, addicts calmed their stress by abusing alcohol and using drugs in order to escape from the stress and to release the physical tension. However, you can still achieve these things without using addictive substances. Put together a holiday First Aid kit that is stocked with lavender or peppermint oil to dab a drop on your wrist or under your nose, a meditation recording, soothing tea like chamomile, and a notecard that contains your personal relaxation or sobriety mantra, and also a breathing exercise reminder. This little kit is not magic, just an organized way to stock and use your sobriety tools.

Luckily, with increased attention from the nation’s leaders (and leader hopefuls), people that abuse opioids and use heroin can have better access to the help that they need.