Preventing Relapse During the Holidays & Beyond
With the holiday season coming to an end and the New Year beginning, it can leave many feeling like something is missing. This transitional period can be especially difficult for those struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can cope with change and help to maintain your sobriety this time of year.
Knowing the Warning Signs of Addiction
The first step toward a life of sobriety is recognizing the warning signs that there may be an issue of substance abuse and addiction. Whether you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol or drugs, there are some physical and behavioral changes that point to addiction.
Unusual Spending Habits
When someone is struggling with substance abuse and addiction, they may be fixated on acquiring their drug of choice—which can have a large effect on their spending habits. The affected person may either have an unusually large amount of money or even none at all.
Because most people struggling with addiction are embarrassed by their using habits, they may be more secretive about their activities. Going out frequently without saying where they’re going is a sign of addiction.
The more you use drugs and alcohol, the more it takes of the substance to provide the desired effect. This is called building a tolerance. If your loved one is drinking or using drugs more and more, they may have a problem.
Using large amounts of drugs and alcohol alters the brain, affecting a person’s ability to regulate their emotions. If you notice sudden and severe mood changes along with other signs, the affected person may be developing an addiction.
Changes in Weight
Depending on the substance being used, it is common for an addicted person to experience sudden fluctuation in weight. If your loved one loses or gains a large amount of weight in a short period of time, substance abuse may be the reason.
Understanding Your Triggers
When it comes to trying to maintain your sobriety, understanding what situations trigger you to want to use again. Once you have identified them, you’re better able to come up with ways to cope to prevent yourself from relapsing.
Common triggers include:
- Being around other people who still drink or use drugs
- Being in certain environments
- Distressing emotions like anxiety and depression
- Over-confidence in your ability to maintain sobriety
Coping During & After the Holidays
Though the holiday season is often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year, it can be difficult for those struggling with substance abuse problems and mental health issues. There are plenty of ways you can look after your mental health and your sobriety as you start another new chapter in your life.
Find a Physical Hobby
Staying active isn’t just a great way to look after your physical health, it also helps to support your mental health and reduces stress levels. Whether you prefer to take up yoga or you want to hike your favorite nature trails, finding a hobby that gets your blood pumping can help you feel more at ease.
Get Better Quality Sleep
Oftentimes people sacrifice their sleep to focus on various areas of their lives, but that missed rest can add up. Going without the recommended 7-9 hours of rest each night can wreak havoc on your mental health. When you feel overwhelmed or stressed, try to get some extra rest here and there to manage your stress levels.
Just like confiding in a friend, writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper can prove to be a cathartic experience. Writing down your issues can help you work through them and give you a sense of relief.
Leaning on Your Loved Ones for Support
While struggling with substance abuse and addiction can feel like a lonely experience, you don’t have to take the journey toward sobriety alone. Building a support system of people who love and care for you is an essential part of your journey toward recovery.
If you feel like you’re having a particularly hard time this time of year, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help when you need it. There’s no shame in asking for a helping hand—after all, that’s exactly what your support system is here for! Whether you decide to confide in a friend or seek counsel from a mentor, your loved ones are here to help you through this rough patch.
Seeking Help at The Good Life Treatment Center
At The Good Life Treatment Center, we’re a different kind of addiction treatment center—we believe in the treatment and recovery of the body, mind, and spirit. We’re committed to working with you to help remove the burdens of shame and guilt that addiction so often brings. We think there’s a better, freer way, to live life.
To learn more about The Good Life Treatment Center, (561) 250-8552 today!