Stay Sober And Healthy This Holiday Season
The holidays can be a time of stress and depression. Not everyone is always in the “holiday mood” around this time. In fact, the holidays can be one of the hardest times for people dealing with addiction and mental health issues. Stress from travel, financial stress, the stress of seeing family who may not be the most supportive or healthy, and stress from a break in routine all can add up to a difficult time.
But there are some ways to deal with holiday stress and depression that you can practice anywhere, even while you’re traveling or if you’re alone during the holidays. Below, we’ve gathered some resources and ideas for beating the holiday blues, and provided some information on how depression can impact alcoholism and drug use as well as recovery.
Depression And Addiction Relapse
It’s no secret depression and addiction can, sadly, go together. While there is no single cause for addiction, depression can be one factor contributing to an addiction. Trying to stay sober, just like any healthy treatment plan, needs to take into account these other issues, like depression, to be effective.
Many of the pillars of sobriety are the same pillars of good mental health. These pillars include:
- Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day
- Exercising (one of the most under-used antidepressants)
- Eating healthy (physical health contributes to mental health)
- And getting enough sunlight
Around the holiday season all of these can be challenges, but can be overcome with a little bit of ingenuity. While traveling, it can be hard to get an appropriate amount of sleep, it can be hard to keep exercising away from home and routine, it can be hard to eat right with many family meals, and the days are shorter in the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, so getting enough sunlight can be a challenge too.
But all of these things can be overcome with some of our suggestions below.
How To Fight Holiday Depression And Relapse
Don’t Stop Exercising
As we mentioned above, exercise is one of the most underutilized antidepressants, and it can seriously help around the holidays. It can also be useful to stop cravings for drugs and alcohol when they become almost too much to bear. Remember, a healthy body is part of a healthy mind.
If you’re traveling, or your gym is experiencing holiday closures, you can always do exercises that don’t require them, like bodyweight exercises or running or walking outside. Some gyms allow for short-term leases for travelers as well, but better yet, exercise with a sober friend this holiday season and keep each other motivated.
Learn To Say No To Unhealthy Things
You’re not superhuman and you just can’t do everything. Recovery is first, even during the holiday season. It is the most important thing because it affects your whole life, your children, your family, your spouse, your loved ones and your friends. If you haven’t already, talk to all of the people in your life and explain why recovery has to come first and that it is, in turn, for them as well. But say no to things that you cannot do.
Take Advantage Of Your Support Network And Sober Friends
Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who understands. The holidays can be hard in part because of a break in routine— you may be exposed to people who are not present in the same way in your daily life, and this can be triggering for relapse and other mental disorders.
But remember, your support network is still there. It can also be helpful to talk to your network before the holidays to ask them to be especially vigilant for you during a time that might be hard.
Volunteer— It Can Change Your Life
Helping others is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The holidays are a wonderful time to partake. There are many organizations that need more help around the holidays, such as Meals On Wheels or local soup kitchens. Volunteering is a great way to feel good, help others, and likely get some sunlight. It’s also a great way to keep your schedule regular. If you know you’re prone to staying in bed all day, volunteering is a reason to get up. If you know getting out of the house is a problem, volunteering is a reason to get dressed and out the door. And you might just find yourself a new purpose…
Dont Stop Going To Recovery Meetings If You Attend Them
Recovery meetings are held in just about any area of the United States, and in many parts of the world. You don’t (and shouldn’t) stop going just because you’re traveling or it’s the holidays. If for some reason you can’t find a recovery meeting in the area you’ll be traveling, you can always find one online over a video-chatting app like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
Call Us Today For Effective Treatment Of Addiction And Compounding Disorders Like Depression
If you’re dealing with addiction and have any compounding disorders like depression (even if you think you don’t or don’t know) give us a call today and we can make you an effective treatment plan to stay healthy and sober, even during difficult times such as the holiday season. We can be reached at (704) 741-0771 and are looking forward to taking your call.