Recovery Messages & News

The Holidays Part 2: The Plan

The Holidays Part 2: The Plan

December comes with a lot of feelings for people, as discussed in The Holidays Part 1: The Feelings. People may have resentment, sadness, loneliness, or happiness, joy, excitement. The holidays tend to come with fantasy and expectation for people, which can lead to attempts to control, image manage, people please, and resentment, disappointment when these expectations are not met. You may be someone who does not identify with much or any feelings about the holidays themselves. If so, we would still encourage you to reflect on how you feel as sometimes the energy and atmosphere of others’ expectations and feelings can have an impact on self.

After identifying and connecting with the feelings, it is important to start thinking about the practical part of the holidays, which involves planning. For those with Addiction and in recovery, the holidays can come with a myriad of triggers and environments, exposures, and stressors that impact mental health and wellbeing. For those with other mental health symptoms, the same is true. Therefore, it is important to be prepared.

Build a plan for self-care. How are you going to take care of yourself regardless of how you are feeling? What rejuvenates you? You may already be doing this on a regular basis and, if so, that’s great, but it would still be important to re-evaluate your needs to see if your plan will suffice.

Build a plan for who you will see, where, when, and for how long. Exposure to environments, people, and substances that may be triggering need to be handled carefully and thoughtfully. It is important to give yourself the option to decline invitations. We encourage you to explore the motivation behind a desire and how that action would support your recovery.

Also, build an exit plan. Hope that things will go well and feel comfortable, but be prepared if it goes in a different direction. Have your ride set-up, preferably something that is independent and you can access as needed, be accountable to at least one other person there so you have someone to share with if needed, and give yourself permission to leave at any point rather than feel obligated to stay when it is difficult.

With some of these tips in mind, this season can be dealt with using the tools of recovery and health. For more videos and information, visit The HUM YouTube channel.