Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family and friends and reflect on all of things you are thankful for. However, as with any holiday, it can come with its share of stress and challenging situations. For those in recovery, that means having to be especially diligent about planning and staying proactive in reducing risk of relapse. Here are a few ways that you can make the most of Thanksgiving without sacrificing the progress you’ve made:
- Attend a meeting before or after get-togethers: Get yourself in the right frame of mind and feeling more confident by connecting with others in recovery around the holidays. Reaffirm your commitment to your recovery.
- Have a plan: What will you do if there is alcohol is available? What if a difficult relative shows up? What if you’re ready to leave? Plan ahead so you know how you’ll deal with stress, temptation, and other challenges in a healthy manner.
- Focus on gratitude: Instead of thinking about the things you’re not doing any more, focus on the things you are doing. Reflect on the progress you’ve made and how your life has changed for the better. Tell others how much you appreciate them and the support they have provided.
- Create new traditions: If your old tradition was to drink and watch football on Thanksgiving, start a new tradition instead. Take a walk as a family, play games, or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Find a different way to celebrate that is meaningful to you.
- Pay attention to how you’re feeling: Listen to your body and mind. If you’re hungry, bored, lonely, angry, or tired, take steps to change things before they lead to temptation. Stay away from triggers and know when it’s time for a change of pace or scenery.
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