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Supporting a Loved One’s Sobriety During the Holidays

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Home recovery Supporting a Loved One’s Sobriety During the Holidays

Holiday sobriety is challenging for someone in recovery.  The season brings reminders and temptations that can be uncomfortable and hard to resist.  But, with love and support from family and friends, people in recovery can enjoy the festivities without relapsing. 

If you want to provide holiday sobriety support for a loved one or friend this year, here are some things you can do.

Open Communication Is Crucial to Holiday Sobriety

Open communication is a great way to show your loved one you offer support.  Asking simple questions like “What do you need?” or “How are you feeling?” can mean a lot to someone who is trying to cope with triggers.  Your willingness to help demonstrates to your loved one that they aren’t alone in their struggle.

Educate Yourself 

Understanding the challenges of addiction and recovery will help you empathize with your loved one’s struggles and allow you to communicate more effectively with them. The more you know about substance use and recovery the more you can help your loved one stay on track.  Also, sharing what you’ve learned with other family members will foster a stronger family bond during this sensitive time.  

Plan Sober Entertainment

People in recovery must learn new ways to entertain themselves that don’t involve alcohol or drugs.  You can help with this process by planning sober activities during the holidays.  Here are a few suggestions of fun things to do to keep your loved one from thinking about drinking:

  • Holiday SobrietyBuild a gingerbread house
  • Work a puzzle together
  • Decorate for the holidays
  • Play board games
  • Go to fireworks displays
  • Explore new places (museums, art galleries, libraries)
  • Exercise together (walks, biking, hiking, swimming)

With so many activities to choose from, you and your loved one are sure to have a great time together.  

Attend a Support Group Together

Without a doubt, the holidays are stressful for everyone.  But, for someone in recovery, the stress can lead to relapse.  To help your loved one avoid relapsing during the holidays, offer to attend a support group meeting with them.  Or, encourage them to go before or after the holiday festivities to help them avoid becoming too stressed.

Be Respectful of Their Boundaries

Someone in recovery needs to set boundaries in order to protect their holiday sobriety.  It’s also important for family members to respect those boundaries.  Anything that makes your loved one uncomfortable can be a potential trigger. For example, your loved one may want to avoid specific people or places that they feel could be potential triggers.  If so, show your support by going along with their decision.

Promote Self-Care for Holiday Sobriety

While in recovery during the holidays, a person faces many things that can be a setback.  For instance, simple things like being hungry, sleep-deprived, angry, lonely, or stressed can tempt them to self-soothe with drugs or alcohol.  So, pay attention to how your loved one is feeling during the holidays.  If they seem to be struggling, encourage self-care such as a nap, a hot bath, a snack, or any other activity that promotes wellbeing. 

Don’t forget that your recovering loved one may be struggling with the things you consider normal during the busy holiday preparations.  So, keep the above tips in mind if you notice signs of distress from your loved one.  Supporting a loved one’s sobriety can be one of the best gifts you can give them.

Treatment that Ensures Long-Term Sobriety

Design for Change Recovery is a fully licensed and JCAHO-accredited rehabilitation facility that maintains a high standard of safety and care for all of our clients.  Furthermore, we are in-network with many major insurance companies to help clients get the affordable, high-quality treatment they need and deserve.  

To give you an idea of the comprehensive program at Design for Change, here is a list of some of the treatment options we provide:

In addition to our extensive program options, you’ll benefit from the skilled, compassionate care provided by our staff.  Some of our staff members have firsthand experience with the trials of substance use and recovery.  As a result, they understand the challenges clients face every day.   Their empathy and compassion reassures clients that they aren’t alone on their recovery journey and that sobriety is possible.

Design for Change wishes you a sober and joyful holiday season.

For those who are in recovery during the holidays, we support your holiday sobriety efforts and wish you success in maintaining long-term sobriety.  In the event that you are still struggling with substance abuse, we can help.  We offer a full continuum of care that utilizes evidence-based therapies that are proven effective.

Design for Change Recovery provides different levels of care so each client can choose what approach to recovery is right for them.  The levels of care include long-term or short-term treatment that includes outpatient, residential, private, or partial hospitalization programs.  The programs range in duration from 30, 60, and 90 days or longer, if needed.  

We invite you to contact our Lancaster, CA facility today to speak with a treatment advisor and learn more about our programs.    


Sources: – What is Addiction? – What Does It Mean to Be “Triggered”

Supporting a Loved One’s Sobriety During the Holidays