Mount Sinai Wellness Center

Tips for Supporting Loved Ones in Recovery during the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for joy, togetherness, and celebration. For those in addiction recovery and their loved ones, it can also bring unique challenges and stressors. Supporting a family member or friend in recovery during this time can make a world of difference. Here are some valuable tips to help you provide the love and encouragement they need during the holidays.

1. Open Communication

Honest and open communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship with someone in recovery. Let your loved one know you’re there for them, willing to listen and understand their struggles.

2. Set Realistic Expectations

Understand that the holidays can be stressful for anyone, but even more so for someone in recovery. Encourage your loved one to set realistic expectations for themselves and let them know it’s okay to say “no” to events or situations that could jeopardize their recovery.

3. Plan Sober Activities

Organize fun, alcohol-free activities that you can enjoy together. Whether decorating the house, baking, playing board games, or hiking, these activities can help create new, positive holiday memories.

4. Offer a Supportive Environment

Make your home a safe, alcohol-free space if your loved one will be spending the holidays with you. Remove temptation and ensure they have a supportive environment to enjoy the festivities.

5. Educate Yourself

Learn about addiction and recovery to gain a better understanding of what your loved one is going through. This knowledge can help you offer more meaningful support. Identify potential triggers and try to avoid or manage them. Triggers can be people, places, or things that may lead to cravings or negative emotions.

6. Attend Support Meetings Together

Consider attending Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings to connect with others who are supporting loved ones in recovery. These meetings can provide valuable insights and a sense of community.

Supporting a loved one in recovery during the holidays is a meaningful and compassionate endeavor. By being there for them with love, understanding, and empathy, you can help make this season a positive and hopeful as they continue their journey to sobriety. Your support can be the greatest gift they receive during the holidays.