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Sobriety During Thanksgiving: Staying Strong Over the Holidays

Support for Those Recovering During Tempting Times

The holidays can be a tempting time for anyone to partake in recreational drugs or alcohol use. With the prevalence of seasonal depression and the risk of social pressure from friends or family members, the cravings may become more intense during this time.

If you are struggling with sobriety during Thanksgiving this year, know you’re not alone, and our team at Mount Sinai Wellness Center is here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (800) 353-4673. We’ll provide you with advice and support for getting through the holidays while maintaining your sobriety goals.

Common Recovery Triggers During the Holidays

It’s important to be mindful of common triggers that may occur over the Thanksgiving holiday. Since it is a time where you’ll be out of your normal routine, and perhaps even out of your comfort zone, the urge to drink or use drugs may increase. Knowing what these triggers are can help you better prepare to handle them as they arise. Certain triggers may include:

  • Family gatherings. Thanksgiving is a time when people gather and celebrate the ties they have with one another. While this is a pleasant time for many, it isn’t for everyone. Crowds can cause stress and anxiety, and if alcohol or other drugs are present, the temptation will be amplified. Conversely, if you have strained relationships with your family, it can make Thanksgiving an emotional and challenging time.
  • Mental illness. As we touched upon earlier, seasonal depression (also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder) affects over 10 million people across the country. This can be particularly difficult if you are going through recovery while also struggling with the changes of the season. Additionally, anxiety is also commonly intensified during the holidays due to work, changes in diet, financial strain, family, travel planning, or just being around addictive substances.
  • Stress. As joyful as the holidays can be, it would be naïve to say they don’t carry stress. Travel arrangements, planning, interpersonal conflicts, and difficult memories surrounding the holiday season can all lead to what may feel like insurmountable stress.
  • Loneliness. While some people may partake in large family gatherings, others may feel lonelier during the holidays due to lack of family support or estrangement from family. Addiction is an isolating disease on its own, which may be magnified by the loneliness of the holiday if you are spending it alone.

How Can I Stay Sober During Thanksgiving?

It is completely normal to experience addiction cravings during stressful times, and it isn’t something that should make you feel ashamed. It’s a good rule of thumb to have some coping tools in your back pocket for when those cravings arise. These may include:

  • Going for a long walk.
  • Talking with someone from your support system.
  • Taking a long bath or shower.
  • Meditating.
  • Journaling.
  • Taking a nap.
  • Making a nutritious and tasty meal.
  • Doing a hobby or activity you enjoy.
  • Celebrating with a mocktail.
  • Removing yourself from the situation if needed.

Mount Sinai Wellness Center Is Thankful for You

Our compassionate and understanding team at Mount Sinai Wellness Center cares about each and every patient we encounter. We are thankful for you and the progress you’ve made thus far. It isn’t easy celebrating the holidays during recovery, and we are always here to lend support and a helping hand when you need it.

For more advice on sobriety during Thanksgiving, contact Mount Sinai Wellness Center today. We can be reached at (800) 353-4673.