The holidays can be a stressful time. That is why many people who have successfully stopped drinking relapse during the holidays. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to avoid relapsing.

Plan the Support System

One of the keys to staying sober during the holidays is to have the right support system. Your recovery coach, therapist, peer group are some of the people you will need to have in your support system. These people will not only give you support, but they will also hold you accountable for the decisions that you make. Have an exit strategy if things get too heated or if temptation becomes too big. Call or text someone if you are tempted to partake. You can have a conversation with an ally without anybody knowing on your cellphone. Write yourself a note beforehand saying you won’t do it. Read it for affirmation at the party.

Evaluate Each Situation

Before you go somewhere, you should rate it as low-risk, medium-risk or high-risk. Spend most of your time in low-risk situations. An example of a medium to high-risk situation is a place that has an open bar. It may be best for you to avoid a place with an open bar. If you go to a place with alcohol, then you should make a plan to exit if you feel tempted.

Bring a Drink with You

You will be less tempted to drink if already have one with you. For example, instead of champagne, you can have a glass of sparkling water. People will be less likely to offer a drink if they see that you already have one in your hand. Let them know that you have just left an addiction recovery treatment center and are focused on staying sober. Most people will be respectful with a simple “No thanks, I’m good.” There are many people that have reasons for not drinking. There is no shame in telling people you are in recovery or in refusing a drink. If your loved ones pressure you to drink after you’ve declined then it’s a warning sign that these people won’t be supportive in the long run when it comes to your recovery. Bringing a friend or spouse to act as a buffer can take some of the pressure off you.

Manage Your Stress

Because the stress of the holidays can drive you to drink, you will need to keep it under control. There are several things that you can do in order to manage your stress. You should not hesitate to say no. Many people are stressed during the holidays because they feel like they have to say yes to everything.
It is also important to get plenty of exercise. Working out helps you de-stress and forget about all of your problems. Additionally, you should try meditating. It also helps you clear your mind,
The holidays do not have to undo all of the hard work that you have done. You will need to keep your stress under control. You will also need to evaluate each situation and get your support system involved. Additionally, you will need to keep a drink with you at all times.

Author's Bio: 

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.