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Dealing with the Holiday Season

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If you are in recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) or Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) the holiday season puts a lot on your plate. Now add an extra helping of pandemic and it’s easier to be over-stuffed with anxieties and situations that might trigger a return to alcohol or drug use.


The good news is that you can make it through the holidays and beyond. The key to staying on course to your recovery is to be aware of the things that make you struggle. Here are some things you can do.


Stay in contact with people in your support group or care team.

Because of the pandemic, you may find yourself more isolated from trusted people you need around you to fight feelings of loneliness and stress. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these people who are so important in your life. If you can’t be with them, call them, text them, get on a zoom call. And do it frequently. It can also be extremely helpful to reach out to a professional counselor or, if you aren’t already, enroll in a treatment program.


Recognize your triggers

It could be stress or loneliness. It could be friends or family members that bring about situations in which you used drugs in the past. Catalog the triggers that lead you to drug use and keep them top of mind so you can avoid them. One way to do this is to…


Keep busy

The more activities you have, the less idle time you have to fall into old habits. Walk, read, run, do yoga, decorate, anything that keeps you moving. Activities like these actually produce endorphins that make you feel better and keep you in a good state of mind.


Practice a healthy lifestyle

Eating wholesome meals is fundamental to keeping you feeling better physically and mentally. It’s a good idea to plan your meals ahead of time so that you stick to your healthy diet. Also make sure you get plenty of rest.


The holidays during a pandemic are a tough time for everyone. But if you are already in recovery, you have already prepared yourself for it and are able to stay strong.  Help is available 24/7 at many facilities


Dale Willenbrink
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