Impact Stress Levels
Everyone handles stress differently. Seasonally, different things can impact stress levels or even increase anxiety and depression in some people. The winter holiday season is notorious for this. So much so that the term “holiday blues” is now commonplace and used to describe those that just aren’t feeling so festive.
For those who are in recovery, this emotional toll can be even greater. Most people in recovery already struggle with one or more of the most common issues related to holiday stress: family, money, and social obligations. During the time of year when these three factors are in the spotlight, it’s normal for those who are already dealing with depression or anxiety to feel increased symptoms or see their condition worsen for a brief period.
Knowing that this is temporary is a little bit of help, but when you’re in the midst of the holiday festivities and can’t beat the sadness or irritability, it might be difficult to see the forest for the trees. That’s where it helps to have a plan ahead of time. If you’re in recovery, you already know the power of a well-executed plan and we don’t need to tell you how much it can increase your chances of not only avoiding more issues but maybe even enjoying the holidays this year.
Join local meetup groups or find new friends and hobbies that you can invest your time in during the holiday season. Especially if your “usual” events or activities are things that used to involve drinking or substance abuse that you are now trying to avoid, it’s important to create new traditions and routines. It can be a challenge, but local recovery centers often have a lot of groups and resources available to assist you in your efforts.
We are here for you
These facilities know what the holidays are like for people in recovery, and they are prepared for the influx of people who need their assistance during this time of year. You should take advantage of this resource, as well as others that you find so that you can make the most of your holidays and keep your recovery program on track at the same time. The holidays might be more fun if you didn’t have to plan so much, but they’ll be a lot less stressful and emotionally taxing if you do.