DON’T GO HOME –
Nov. 17, 2022 – The holiday season can exacerbate stress, anxiety, and depression, particularly when returning home.
Unfortunately, many of these emotional triggers often cause people to turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of coping. Research has suggested that LGTBQ individuals are three times more likely to experience these mental health conditions.
Avoiding the temptation to drink in excess takes work, but it is not impossible. Whether you are in recovery or not, there are practical ways to manage sobriety and stress over the holidays. Make sure basic needs are met during the holidays. H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) is an excellent way to remember to meet basic needs. These are often four things that contribute to stress and relapse. Make it a point to eat regularly, exercise, stay connected with other people, and get plenty of sleep.
When attending holiday parties, have a backup plan. If you find yourself in a situation where there is a strong urge to drink or do drugs, have an escape plan. The people around you who know you are working on sobriety or are choosing holiday sobriety will understand. It is OK to leave holiday parties early or turn down invitations. Do not feel obligated to put yourself in risky situations. Consider non-alcoholic drinks or holiday mocktails. Bring your own beverages to holiday parties or encourage hosts to offer holiday mocktails. “Holiday mocktails are becoming increasingly popular at holiday parties because it removes the risk of drinking and driving and provides options for someone who wants a holiday drink, but without the alcohol,” said Marcel Gemme of Addicted.org