It is that time of year again, the season when stress and anxiety go off the chart. The past two years have been extremely stressful with the Covid19 pandemic. Now we have to add in the stress and anxiety of the holiday season.

How do people with co-occurring mental health and addiction problems cope and get through the holidays?

Remaining sober through the holiday season

Just remaining sober through the holiday season can be challenging with all the parties, never mind the stress and anxiety.

Formulating a plan to remain sober through the holidays will significantly increase your chances of success.

  • Know your triggers and have a way to deal with them
  • Call your sponsor if you feel like one drink or substance won’t hurt
  • Attend meetings as many times a week as you need
  • Ask family and friends not to offer you alcoholic beverages; in fact, take your own drinks with you that is nonalcoholic
  • Warn family, friends, and coworkers you may need to leave early
  • Practice mindful meditation before you go
  • Remember to just breathe

Knowing your triggers and limits regarding anxiety and stress and having a plan to leave early if necessary will help you remain sober through the holidays.

Mental health and the holidays

With mental health, you must continue going to counseling, take your meds, and practice mindful meditation, especially during the holiday season.

Alert family, friends, and coworkers; you may not be able to make the party or have to leave early.

When you begin to feel too anxious or stressed, it is time to step out for some quiet time or even leave to go home.

It is about spending time with family, friends, and coworkers without overwhelming yourself. It may require that you meet them in smaller groups. If that is the case, plan a small dinner party at your home or meet up at a coffee shop or café.

The best way to get through the holiday season is to plan ahead, and most of all, take care of yourself.  If you or a loved one needs help call 449 Recovery (855) 735-7449.