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Holiday activities usually include celebrations, time with family, and social gatherings. If you’re in recovery, you may feel nervous about the holidays coming up, especially if it’s a time when you used to use substances. 

In actuality, you now have the chance to enjoy the holiday season more than ever. Now is your chance to be fully present without substances and experience everything this season has to offer. 

The Value of Healthy Boundaries

To enjoy the holiday season, you need to make sure you safeguard your recovery. The holidays can be stressful and inevitably triggering at times. You’ll want to make sure to put the proper boundaries in place to enjoy the season to the fullest.

It’s a good idea to write out a two-column list for yourself. One column can include healthy holiday activities that you want to participate in, like attending a show or baking yummy treats. The other column can include activities that you want to stay away from. These are the activities that might trigger you, like going to a family or friend gathering where you know substances like alcohol may be served.

Remember that both you and your recovery are what’s important. To continue down the path of sobriety, you may have to say “no” to certain things.

Outdoor Holiday Activities

There’s a reason why so many treatment programs implement activities in the great outdoors. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “There are many mental wellness benefits associated with being outside in green spaces, such as lower risk of depression and faster psychological stress recovery.” 

The USDA also points to studies that have shown that being outside in nature can “restore and strengthen our mental capacities, increasing focus and attention.” For those in addiction recovery, it’s crucial to learn how to focus your attention on the present moment. This will allow your mind to heal from negative thoughts and cravings to use substances.

Some fun outdoor holiday activities may include:

  • Snowing, sledding, and winter sports
  • Outdoor holiday tree lighting events
  • Light shows, some of which you can drive through
  • Holiday parades

Holiday Hobbies and Crafts

For those in addiction recovery, having hobbies to focus on can make the journey a lot easier. According to Perspectives on Psychological Science, addiction typically comes along with uncontrollable drug cravings and compulsive drug seeking that “take place at the expense of most other activities and persist even in the face of devastating consequences.”

When you were actively using, most of your days were likely spent participating in activities related to your addiction. Healthy hobbies will replace the dangerous hobby of substance use and allow you to re-discover the simple joys of life.

You can find fun holiday hobbies and craft activities in your local newspaper, local Facebook groups, or even through a simple Google search. Be open to exploring new ideas and interacting with new people. There are also a variety of different activities you can do from the comfort of your own home or sober living residence. Stores like Target and Dollar Tree also have many ideas and even carry craft kits around the holiday season.

Some examples of hobbies include:

  • Baking holiday treats like cupcakes and cookies
  • Creating ornaments for the tree
  • Wreath design and decorating

Surround Yourself With Supportive Loved Ones

The holiday season is traditionally a time to spend with family and loved ones. For those in addiction recovery, it’s more important than ever to have supportive people by your side. The key word here is “supportive.” If you have loved ones who are not supportive of your recovery journey, it’s important to set healthy boundaries to protect your sobriety.

It’s also vital to keep your mind busy while you’re in recovery, so ask your loved ones to help you create a plan for the season. You may even feel like you missed out on this time of year while you were using substances. You can make up for that time by visiting loved ones you may not have seen in a while to catch up on each other’s lives.

One of the most popular holiday activities is to put up a tree or other decorations. It might be a fun idea for you to set a date with loved ones and make this a new tradition. You can make a day of it and enjoy each other’s company while you admire your beautiful work.

Consider Outpatient Treatment

When you’re in outpatient treatment or recovery during the holidays, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the season. Many programs will hold seasonal events that you can get involved with or have holiday dinner gatherings to enjoy with your peers.

The holidays can be a stressful time for those in recovery. To protect your sobriety and enjoy the season, you can find a quality outpatient program that will give you the support you need.

At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we make sure to give all of our clients strong support and accountability throughout the holiday season. No matter which program you’re enrolled in, each client at Lighthouse is matched with a recovery coach to help you through the holiday season and any time of year.

When it comes to the holiday season and your sobriety, the most important thing to remember is that you come first. If you make a plan to do activities that you truly enjoy, you will be able to re-discover joy in life and feel confident in your lasting sobriety.

The holiday season can often feel stressful for those in addiction recovery. You can re-discover the joy of the season by setting healthy boundaries and creating a plan to enjoy fun holiday activities. At Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we know that this time of year can bring up anxiety, pain, and grief. During the holidays, we work closely with each of our clients to give them the strong accountability and support they need. Every client at Lighthouse is matched with a recovery coach who will be there as your point of contact whenever you feel lost or need to talk to someone about your struggles. Call us today at (214) 396-0259.