When people think about the holiday season, celebrations, overindulgence, and festivities may come mind. Unfortunately, these activities can lead to substance abuse for many individuals who struggle with social, familial or financial anxieties during the holidays.
Holiday Celebrations Without Substance Abuse
People who work hard throughout the year to maintain a healthy lifestyle often give themselves permission to “let loose” during the holiday season. It certainly is acceptable to every now and again cheat on a diet, miss a day at the gym, or have an extra glass of wine at dinner. However, if your holiday season starts before Thanksgiving and continues until after the first of the New Year, you have spent almost two months “off the health wagon.” If you are a recovering addict, keeping a close eye on your behavior is essential during this time. If you have never overindulged in drugs or alcohol, this is not the season to start. You should never give yourself permission to abuse yourself.
To enjoy celebrations with loved ones without abuse, you can engage in outdoor activities such as sledding, flag football, or just taking a brisk walk after a large meal. You can also participate in indoor activities that do not require drinking such a board games, charades, or karaoke. If being around family causes you stress or anxiety, make sure to have a support system you can talk to during this time so you do not self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to cope with painful emotions.
Loneliness and Drug Use During the Holidays
There are many who enter into the holidays with feelings of loneliness. Young adults who have recently moved away from home, recently widowed or divorced individuals, or those with loved ones away on military service are all at risk for depression, sadness, and loneliness.
When people are experiencing these negative emotions, they are also at risk for alcohol or drug abuse. Drowning your sorrows in a bottle of wine or letting a pill take away your feelings of isolation may sound like viable options to get through the holidays. However, these quick fixes lead to dependence and addiction.
Instead of giving in to these feelings, you can connect with people by volunteering to work in a soup kitchen, visiting a nursing home, or singing songs in the children’s ward of the hospital.
Get Help for Addiction
If you or a loved one has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, please call our toll-free number today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatments for addiction.