The holidays are a time of joy, but among all the celebrations sits the reality of life. Your loved one in recovery is dealing with their new sober life, and this time of year might bring about reminders or triggers that could put them at risk for relapse. You may be unsure how to support your loved one in recovery during holidays, but with the help of a family therapy program, you can get the guidance you need to help them maintain their sobriety.
Supporting your loved ones will go a long way in their recovery process. Remember that recovery does not take a break, and your loved one may need your help to get through the holidays. Westwind Recovery®, your trusted rehab center in Los Angeles, is here for you with sober holiday tips for recovering alcoholics, resources for supporting loved ones in recovery, and family therapy programs to help you all heal together. When you need a reputable recovery center in Los Angeles to aid with recovery during holidays, give us a call at 855.340.8832.
Why Recovery During the Holidays Is Especially Hard
Those in recovery have to focus on staying sober amidst everyday stress and the holiday hustle and bustle. While the compulsion to drink or take drugs might not change during the holidays, there are likely to be more triggers present. People, places, negative emotions, and contact with drugs or alcohol are the most common triggers for relapse.
Ways You Can Support a Loved One in Recovery
There are many ways you can help a loved one in recovery at an alcohol addiction treatment center during the holidays. Each individual in recovery will be working at their own pace, so be sure to be flexible with your support. Supporting your friend or family member with patience, caring, tough love, and sober holiday tips for recovering alcoholics can help you enjoy a happy holiday together.
Encourage Open Communication
One of the most important things you can do is keep the communication lines open. Consider asking your loved ones how they feel and how you can best support them. During this time, you can discuss their feelings on the holidays, how much or how little they want to be involved, and any boundaries you feel need to be in place.
Do Not Make Alcohol a Focus
It does not matter if your loved one is a recovering alcoholic or was addicted to drugs — you need to remove or limit all instances of potentially addictive substances. Do not make it the center of any dinners or parties, and consider letting guests know if you desire to keep it alcohol-free this year.
Limit Stressful Situations
Since stress is a major trigger, limiting stressful situations is critical. Planning ahead will help avoid some stress, as will being flexible with timing and events. Try taking a more carefree approach to the holidays this year, and make time to indulge in relaxing activities together. If you usually throw a big holiday bash, consider a smaller family gathering this year.
Provide Opportunities to Connect
Your loved one needs to have access to other people in their support system. Let them invite their sponsor (no one has to know who it is) or another friend in recovery to help them feel more comfortable. Remind them about meetings at an outpatient rehab center and even consider attending one with them. Make all efforts to make your loved one feel included in holiday festivities. Extend invites to events instead of assuming they will not want to attend, but make it easy to decline if they do not feel up to it.
Practice Grace and Forgiveness
Remember that addiction is not your loved one’s fault — it is a disease. Give them some grace during this time and help them find forgiveness concerning how they have affected the family. Let them know you understand how they may feel and that it is completely normal. Be sure not to jump to conclusions about their behavior or call them out, including making them the subject of jokes.
Even though you do not want to jump to conclusions, you still need to be mindful of potential signs of relapse. If you feel they are becoming more on edge, offer them some space or ask to go for a walk. It is important to let them feel how they feel and to know that they may not be in a great mood all the time.
Get Help from Westwind Recovery® Center for Sober Living in Los Angeles
Call Westwind Recovery® today at 855.340.8832 to inquire about our recovery center in Los Angeles, where we can help you or a loved one get on the path to recovery. We provide support throughout your entire recovery process with a special focus on your mental health. We incorporate holistic therapies into our recovery programs along with evidence-based treatment so that you can heal inside and out. Let us offer you support for recovery during holidays, so you and your loved ones can focus on making new happy memories together. Call us today at 855.340.8832 whether you need recovery support for yourself or someone close to you.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.