Dealing with an Addiction during the Holiday Season
Thanksgiving in the U.S., Christmas, Boxing Day (UK/Australia) and New Years; all are holidays which fall closely together over the months of November and December. For some, these days are full of laughter, joy and fun. However, for others, they are dreaded days which bring about feelings of uncertainty, doubt and depression. Moreover, these holidays can cause a great deal of stress or reminders that this time of year is not always going to resolve problems and bring loved ones together.
For those who are struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, finding reasons not to relapse or use can be difficult. Couple in the celebrations and parties and the prevalence of battling an addiction or recovery greatly increases.
What leads a user to flirt with their drug of choice over the holiday season?
While anyone can relapse or use throughout the year, the holidays have a few qualities which other months simply do not have. In between alcohol laden parties, financial strain and family pressure, an individual can quickly feel a heightened sense of anxiety, anger, depression, or worry. Obligations to attend work parties and celebrations with friends or families can become overwhelming, especially when alcohol (or drugs) will be present. To escape all of these unwanted emotions, drinking or using may seem like the only way out.
How Seasonal Affective Disorder Worsens Addiction
Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a type of depression which occurs at the same time every year. This is often during the winter months which can be cold, gloomy and dark. The seasonal weather can provoke feelings of loneliness, sadness and depression leading to anxiety, insomnia, irritability, hopelessness and isolation. All of these can occur at any time and last for the duration of the winter season. Unfortunately, SAD usually goes undiagnosed and leads to self medicating using drugs or alcohol. During the holiday season, people who are already suffering from SAD are at a greater risk to mask these unpleasant feelings.
Healthily Dealing with an Addiction Over the Holidays
One of the most important things to remember when trying to avoid drugs or alcohol during the holiday season is to not allow this time of year to be an excuse to drink or use. Here are a few more tips to allow you deal with an addiction over the holidays:
Identify your stressors
If you’ve been to a drug or alcohol rehab, you may already know how to identify your stressors, but you should always want to further this self exploration. Think about why you turn to drinking or using drugs and make a note of these things. During the holidays, do your best to avoid these stressors even if that means you don’t attend certain gatherings.
Willpower is everything
According to the APA, willpower is a “finite resource”. It is similar to a muscle or joint which can be worn out with heavy use or strain. This means, throughout the holidays simplify any decision making you have to do. Keep the gifts to a minimum, pay all necessary bills on time (and beforehand), and don’t go overboard with the cookies, cakes and décor. Organize tasks in advance; even things like what you will wear to work or eat for breakfast on the following day. By following this simple advice, you save valuable time and effort to allow you to maintain a healthy balance of willpower. This is exactly what you will need to avoid parties where alcohol or drugs are present or places where arguments and relationship breakdowns could ensue.
Don’t be scared to reach out for support
Everyone at some point in life will need a shoulder to cry on and a person to give advice and guidance. Human beings, be it friends, family, acquaintances or even strangers can be pretty good at helping one another out. If you’re feeling lost or like you are going to relapse, talk to someone. After all, one of the biggest mistakes you could make is assume you are able to deal with everything on your own. Remember, even if you’ve been able to manage your addiction over the previous months, you may need a helping hand during the holidays.
It’s important to note that sometimes this support from family or friends may not be available. Alternatively, these people may not be equipped to handle the situation and could unintentionally enable you or cause you to feel guilty or as if you’ve failed. If this could be a potential problem, a counsellor, therapist or even drug and alcohol rehab center could be ideal. These places can help you to identify stressors and triggers, work through the core problems, provide tailored advice and offer a stronger network of support.
Going to a Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Thailand During the Holidays
Sometimes, you know that staying at home or in a familiar environment over the holiday season is not enough. In that case, an addiction rehab could be the best gift you could give to yourself. A rehab center, especially those in Thailand will give you the chance to immerse yourself in a new environment. You will have no tempting parties to attend and no social obligations. Support and individual attention is constantly given; both of which are vital during this time of year. Moreover, a rehab for drugs and alcohol in Thailand will be significantly cheaper (even during the holidays) than those in the West.
If you would like to progress to a drug or alcohol free life and don’t want the holiday season to make it harder for you, please contact Serenity Thailand Rehab today to find out about our customized treatment programs. We’re open 24/7, 365 days a year.