For some people, Valentine’s Day is an emotional event for many different reasons. But, for people in recovery, the day can bring up painful memories that could trigger a relapse. Almost every store displays an abundance of flowers, candy, and cards decorated with big red hearts and cupids. With all these reminders, it’s hard to escape the fact that love is in the air.
Someone struggling with damaged relationships due to substance abuse will find these romantic reminders overwhelming. But, substance use does not have to be the only way to cope with difficult emotions during this time. These tips on how to stay sober on valentines day can help you navigate the holiday without jeopardizing your hard-earned sobriety.
#1. Prepare for the day now by making a plan.
As you learned in rehab, you need a plan for coping with triggers. Think about how you will be spending the day. Plan to attend parties or other get-togethers that don’t include alcohol or drugs as part of the festivities. Also, plan to do something to avoid being bored or lonely which can tempt you to indulge in alcohol or drugs.
#2. It’s okay to just stay home.
Are you worried about being tempted by drugs or alcohol at a social event on Valentine’s Day? If so, it’s okay to just stay home. But, don’t sit around feeling sad and alone. Reach out to sober friends, family, or people from your recovery groups. Or, use the day to celebrate you and your progress in recovery so far. Buy some chocolate and prioritize yourself and your accomplishments.
#3. Go to a support group meeting.
This is one of the most crucial tips for how to stay sober on Valentine’s Day. If the approaching holiday is causing you stress already, go to a support group meeting. Spending time with others who are experiencing the same emotions will be helpful. Plus, you might learn about sober celebrations you can attend with some of the people in your group.
#4. Avoid social media.
If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, the last thing you need is to read romantic posts on social media. People love to post pictures of the gifts they received or parties they attended. They like to let everyone know how lucky they are in love and how romantic their day has been. Find other ways to entertain yourself besides browsing on social media that will reinforce your sobriety.
#5. Remind yourself that it’s just one day.
All holidays can be challenging for a person in recovery. If you’re wondering how to stay sober on Valentine’s Day, remind yourself that it’s just one day. And, remember, you are not the only one who must face surviving Valentine’s Day sober. Find ways to make yourself feel special for the day and you’ll feel stronger in your ability to maintain sobriety in the future.
Are You Celebrating Valentine’s Day With a Partner in Recovery?
If you have a partner in recovery, celebrating Valentine’s Day might be a challenge. You won’t be able to break out the champagne and toast your romantic relationship. Plus, almost every place you want to go for the evening may be a trigger for your partner. Since most restaurants and bars serve alcoholic beverages, your plans to dine out may be complicated.
Despite the challenges, you and your partner can still celebrate. But, you’ll have to find an alternative way, which means finding substance-free venues. For instance, have a romantic picnic in the park, go to a movie, go on a road trip, or just stay in. You’ll create a memory that will last a lifetime.
Providing your partner with support for their sobriety can strengthen your relationship. Let your partner know that you are open to suggestions for spending the holiday in a way that is stress-free and alcohol-free.
Anyone Can Enjoy Sober Holidays with Help from Design for Change Recovery
We hope these tips for a sober Valentine’s Day will help you enjoy new ways to celebrate holidays without the risk of relapse. Unfortunately, holidays and substance use go hand-in-hand in today’s society. Addictions continue to rise each year and the need for effective treatment increases.
At Design for Change Recovery, we recognize the significance of providing an evidence-based program for people regardless of the substance involved. Our mission is to help each client overcome substance use and gain the skills and confidence to remain sober for the long term. With our help, your future holidays will be more enjoyable without the dulling effects of drugs or alcohol interfering.
Reach out to us by contacting our Lancaster, CA facility today to learn more about our programs. One of our representatives will help you create a customized treatment plan based on your specific needs.
Everyone at Design for Change Recovery wishes you a wonderful, sober Valentine’s Day!