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Monday, December 18, 2017

How to Handle Holiday Relapse Triggers

Relapse triggers are seemingly everywhere this season – and, of course, what’s high risk for you might be low risk for someone else, depending on your stage of recovery. There are a few known holiday triggers, however, that you’ll likely want to prepare for. 

Take a look at our list below and then add your own personal triggers to ensure that you can enjoy the festivities and stay sober. 
  • Hunger: Low blood sugar can make anyone feel anxious or irritable – and, in turn, this can lower your ability to fend off cravings or temptations.
  • What to do: Try to eat six small nutritious meals per day, or snack every three hours. A combo that includes healthy carbs and low-fat protein will keep you satisfied longer. Some examples: Red and green bell pepper strips with hummus, grapes with low-fat string cheese, or a celery stalk with a dollop of peanut butter. 
  • Stress: Unrealistic expectations, mounting to-do lists, lack of sleep, family overload and overpacked schedules this holiday can all lead to stress.
  • What to do: Make relaxation a daily priority, whether you simply take a few minutes to meditate, enjoy a favorite pastime or meet up with a friend each day for a morning walk. 
  • Family: If you’re able to go home for the holidays, you’ll likely encounter some unexpected questions and/or comments from a relative or two. 
  • What to do: Do your best to prepare by creating a script for yourself. Consider talking to your addiction counselor or recovery peers for some ideas. 
  • Loneliness: Whether you’re unable to go home or are missing old friends who are no longer in your life, the holidays can bring upon loneliness for many individuals in recovery.  
  • What to do: Don’t isolate yourself. Find out what holiday events are taking place in rehab, attend a few extra meetings or support groups to stay on track, or line up a few close friends and families to celebrate with you this year.
  • Lack of sleep: A good night’s sleep is essential for coping with stress – and, yet, stress can make shut-eye nearly impossible. 
  • What to do: To keep your mind from racing before bed, relax with a book or calming bedtime ritual (meditation or yoga, for instance). Jotting down a to-do list before you head to bead is also a great way to clear your mind so you have an easier time falling (and staying) asleep. 

Addiction Aftercare & Support for Young Adults
Upon returning home, it is all-too-easy for clients to gravitate to former patterns, dangerous environmental triggers, and toxic relationships. At Hope Academy, we create a supportive transition between treatment completion and the return home, so clients have the best chance at sustained sobriety. To learn more, call today: 866-930-4673.

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