The holiday season can be an exciting and stressful time for individuals in recovery. Here are some great tips from our Family Therapy team on how family and friends can support a loved one in recovery during the holidays:
- Take Breaks: Remember to take time for yourself and allow time for other activities. Also allow your loved one in recovery time alone and time for other activities, like attending 12-step meetings or treatment activities with peer mentors. These activities are just as important as attending family gatherings and festivities.
- Mocktails! There are a number of festive holiday beverages to imbibe. Consider a sober celebration with some of these great recipes.
- Avoid Isolation: Reach out to people even if you think they may not want to hear from you. You can leave a door open and let a person choose to walk through it.
- Join recovery activities with your loved one. There are 12-step meetings and recovery based celebrations throughout the holiday season. Let your loved one know you’d be willing to go with them. Also, accept that a person in recovery may want to do these on their own.
- Celebrate with people who support your recovery goals. You can be with your “family of choice” and not just your family of origin.
- Ask the expert! Ask your loved one in recovery what they need from you during the holiday celebration times. You may learn that simply talking and listening is a gift in and of itself.
- Some people may choose to leave a family gathering early, and this is not personal. Family gatherings can be triggering for many people, in addiction or not. Your loved one is in control of their sobriety and they may choose to leave a function to protect their sobriety.
- It is not your responsibility to keep your loved one sober. Your willingness to listen and learn from your loved one is valuable. They are in charge and if you need support, please reach out to us and/or al-anon.