The holidays can be a tough time of the year for most people. Between traveling, cooking and buying presents the stress can become overwhelming for anyone; toss being clean/sober into the equation and that stress can reach dangerous levels. Stress during the holidays is a normal thing but when in sobriety it can be dangerous, some of us will use our substances of choice to self medicate the stress away. A great way to help lower stress levels is to remember what you are grateful for. By going over all the things that make you grateful you will hope lower stress levels and you will also be able to appreciate the smaller things in life.
Be Thankful for Those Around You
During the holidays many of us will be around close family and friends, these are the people that matter most. Some of these people have stuck with you through thick and thin, their love for you was their only motivation to help you fight through it. Many of us may have burnt some bridges during our use, but during our sobriety, we have slowly built those bridges back. Just look around at these people and realize how truly lucky you are to be there with them, you never know what tomorrow brings so make the best of the time you have with them today.
Keep a Gratitude List
Make a list of things that you are grateful for. Try adding to this list on a daily or weekly basis will help keep your list up to date. Lists aren’t for everyone, try using a journal instead; write a quick recap of your day. Reiterating to yourself the gifts and joys that have been brought to you during recovery, can help make those tough times move by faster and without incident.
Remember What it Was Like Before You Got Sober
When we get clean and sober we can often forget how horrible it is out there in active addiction. No person should have to live that way. In order to be grateful for what you currently have, you must remember where you came from and where you can go. Realizing how far you have come since entering recovery is extremely beneficial, by putting this concrete contrast in your head between good and bad really helps put things into perspective.
Stay in the Moment
The holidays come and go very fast. Before you know it it’s New Year’s Day and life is back to normal. Use the time you have every day to do something special, use your time wisely. Focus on the here and now, focus on the present moment. Really soak it all in, if you live up north and it starts to snow enjoy the silence that the snow brings with it. You’ve come a long way from where you were, every moment can be awesome if you choose to make it that way.
Volunteer Your Time to Those Less Fortunate
During the holiday season, there are millions of Americans living below the poverty line who can use our help. Go help out at a food drive or a soup kitchen, hand food or clothes out to the homeless, gather gifts for young kids when their parents can’t afford them; just do something for someone who is less fortunate than yourself! This is the time of the year to be grateful and to give of yourself, you can make a difference in the life of hundreds of people, even if you change one person’s day for the better you did something amazing.
It is So Important to Remain Grateful
Being grateful isn’t always an easy task, but with the holiday season in full swing, there is plenty to be thankful for. Remember that your actions can change someone’s day from a negative one to a positive one. You have the power to change how your day is going, if you’re focusing on the negatives pull out that gratitude list and remember where you came from. Sometimes we can get lost in the world of material possessions but being grateful goes far beyond anything we can hold. Be grateful for the love around you, your friends, your family and the new chance at the life you were given.
Are You or a Loved One Struggling?
Has a loved one recently approached you asking for help with their addiction? If you or someone you love is suffering from alcohol abuse issues or drug addiction and would like to learn more about the rehab and detox options out there, please give our toll-free number a call. A substance abuse specialist is always standing by ready to help you through this difficult time however they can. Calls into our phone line are always free of charge and completely confidential. Give yourself and your family the greatest gift of all, the gift of sobriety. Help is out there, and a better life might just be a phone call away.