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Home for the Holidays: Tips for Relieving Family Stress

The Importance of Support During the Holidays

While some recovering addicts may find comfort in going home for the holidays, we understand that not everyone’s family unit is the same – and a lack of family support can cause increased stress during an already stressful time.

In fact, an absence of family support is one of the five most common reasons for relapse. While leaning on loved ones can be a great way to avoid relapse during the holidays, it is important to know who is and is not part of your support system – and to remove yourself from situations with others who are only increasing tension.

To learn more tips for relieving family stress when going home for the holidays, Mount Sinai Wellness Center is here to help. Feel free to explore our website to learn more tips and tricks to help you stay on track with your sobriety goals.

How to Cope with Family Stress

Fear of judgment is a big reason why addicts choose to lie to their loved ones about their recovery journey. If you find yourself with a judgmental or misinformed family member over the holidays, there are many different ways you can cope with the family stress. It is a good rule of thumb to keep some strategies in mind to use as needed, including, but not limited to:

  • Noticing your triggers
  • Recommending activities that everyone can enjoy
  • Meditating
  • Mindfulness and deep breathing exercises
  • Getting substantial amounts of sleep
  • Understanding and honoring how you feel
  • Making your emotional needs clear
  • Having a clear support system you can turn to when needed
  • Keeping conversation light and changing topics when feeling uncomfortable
  • Exercising
  • Eating healthy meals
  • Journaling
  • Taking mental breaks (removing yourself from situations as needed)
  • Seeking professional help (know that you can always reach out to one of our staff members for support)

If you have a loved one going through recovery this holiday season, one of the best gifts you can give is understanding how to show support.

How Are Stress and Addiction Linked?

Many people turn to substances as a way to relieve overwhelming stress, which can lead to the road of addiction or cause triggers that can tempt a relapse. It is important to know how to properly manage stressors in order to achieve long-term sobriety. Extreme stress can trigger a relapse even after prolonged periods of abstaining from substance use.

Our bodies perform chemical reactions when stressed that could lead to addictive cravings, so the way in which we react to stress plays a large role in our likelihood of relapse. With coping strategies and healthy forms of stress management, the risk of turning back to unhealthy coping mechanisms (i.e., alcohol and drugs) significantly decreases.

To learn more tips for relieving family stress this holiday season, you can find additional advice on our blog. To seek professional help, give us a call at (800) 353-4673. Our dedicated and compassionate team is here to help you heal.