How to Prevent Holiday Relapses

How to Prevent Holiday Relapses

how to prevent holiday relapses

No one is immune to the stresses of the holidays. When you’re doing your best to maintain your sobriety, you’ll be facing additional challenges during this typically jolly time of year. If you’re wondering how to prevent holiday relapses, then congratulations: you’re already planning to avoid with potential setbacks, and that is critical to your success.

Avoiding holiday relapses is about prioritizing self-care. Looking after your emotional and physical health should always be your goal. Yes, you might need to make changes to your normal holiday schedule to get through the season. However, by keeping a few key things in mind, you’ll find that you reduce the number of obstacles in your life.

We want to provide some words of wisdom for those in recovery and for those who have loved ones who want to stay substance-free. Let’s review how to prevent holiday relapses.

First, Know How to Prevent Holiday Relapses by Recognizing Warning Signs

Relapse isn’t just an isolated event; it is a process that often begins weeks or months before someone uses a substance. Warning signs of a potential relapse include suppressing emotions, withdrawing from loved ones, denying problems, not attending meetings, focusing on others instead of yourself, giving into poor eating habits and getting irregular sleep.

Failing to practice adequate self-care is a hallmark of the relapse process. Unfortunately, the holidays present several challenges that make them especially difficult for someone in recovery.

Why Holidays Are Challenging for Those in Recovery

When you look at the above warning signs of a relapse, you can see why the holidays are so tricky for those who want to stay sober. Schedules are often chaotic during the holidays, so a person’s normal routines are easily disrupted. People are tempted by unhealthy foods. They are constantly in situations where it will be easier to focus on the needs of others instead of their own.

If someone in recovery tries to maintain the same holiday activities that they did while using substances, they will likely be in situations where they are exposed to people using drugs and alcohol. So, it’s best for anyone in recovery or anyone who has a loved one hoping to stay sober to remember a few best practices this holiday season.

If You Are Currently in Recovery…

To navigate the potential pitfalls this holiday season, you’ll be best served by keeping a few tips in mind…

  • Prioritize the routine that has been working for you, regardless of how your work schedule changes.
  • Avoid people who won’t be understanding of your efforts to maintain sobriety.
  • Instead, rely on those who are supportive.
  • Attend meetings regularly.
  • Avoid stressful situations when possible.

These are just a few basics to remember, but your situation might require special considerations. Always reach out to your sponsors, counselors or any other members of your support network to speak at length about the challenges you face.

If You Have a Loved One in Recovery…

You might be wondering what you can do to help your loved one stay sober this holiday season. If you’re worried about how you can accommodate their needs, remember these tips…

  • Don’t drink or do drugs around your loved one.
  • Make yourself available to listen to their concerns.
  • Encourage your loved ones to go to meetings or talk to counselors.
  • Don’t put your loved ones in unnecessarily stressful situations.

Remember that your health is also a priority, and it’s okay to set boundaries with your friend or family member. When you have someone in your life that is in recovery, you must strike a balance between setting boundaries and being available. There are no firm rules to achieve this balance. Be mindful of your own needs. Then, you can be sure you aren’t sacrificing your well-being to help your loved one.

How to Prevent Holiday Relapses

If you want to know how to prevent holiday relapses, then remember that this time of year is a delicate one for people who wish to remain sober. Finding support and avoiding triggers are essential. Because the holidays throw people’s schedules into disorder, it’s vital to maintain whatever routines are working.

If you are looking for help in the Austin area, Sober Austin provides resources for people who are struggling with substance use disorders. We know how difficult this season can be for those in recovery.

Please Browse Our Site or Contact Us Directly for Help

We list several resources on our site that you can use to find the help you need. Please browse our site to find the resources that best fit your situation. You can also contact Sober Austin directly by calling 512-981-6572 or emailing