SURVIVE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR
HELP PEOPLE IN EARLY RECOVERY
Christmas and new year, plus the few weeks immediately after when people can feel complacent, are the riskiest times of the year for relapse back to alcohol/drugs. Preparations must start in November to avoid a crisis and instead build a template for future healthy, happy christmases. Deirdre BoydÂ brings advice fromÂ established experts in addiction recovery.
This page brings you top tips from Broadway Lodge, the longest-established 12-step-linked in the UK.
You can read more top recovery tips from:
+Â Kirby Gregory of Action on Addiction (patron: the Duchess of Cambridge)
+ Mike Delaney of Bayberry Clinic, which also treats impaired professionals
+ Tessa Corner of StreetScene, who highights multicultural activities
+ Mo Dunne of Hebron Trust, which specialises in women’s issues
+ Mount Carmel in London which offers aftercare for life
+ Castle Craig Hospital in Scotland and the Netherlands.
Print-friendlyÂ advice from all 7 rehabs:
Download AddictionToday139 – Survive christmas
Broadway residential centre for first-stage and extended care gives the following hints and tips to its clients, reveals CEO Brian Dudley. “The first few christmases and New Years in recovery can feel daunting for people for whom it might be years since they passed the dates without a drink or drug.”
Use the fellowship, meetings and your sponsor
Avoid âwetâ places and parties
Take control â invite people to you
Be good to yourself, allow some treats
Keep in touch with safe friends/family/support
Keep balance and variety in your activities:
TV, exercise, walks in the fresh air
Plan ahead â make a relapse-prevention plan
Plan fun as well as safety!
Donât hide away and isolate
Donât stagnate in front of the TV
Donât become complacent or procrastinate
Donât go somewhere without a âget out clauseâ; make it easy to leave a difficult situation.
To have realistic expectations of this period
To have fun â recovery is to be enjoyed
To have company when possible, maybe even a recovery party
To send yourself a card
The spiritual base to christmas
Gratitude for being clean/sober
Early January can increase risk of relapse as people are often relieved at having âsurvivedâ; reward yourself with a positive recovery affirmation.