Since holidays tend to come with strong emotions, partying and free time, they can make it hard for you to hold on to your sobriety. However, being aware of how holidays affect sobriety helps you take steps to avoid addictive behavior. As February 14 approaches, follow these steps to have a sober Valentine’s Day and enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day sober.
Do you have a relapse prevention plan ready? If not, consider participating in a relapse prevention program in Asheville, NC. Even a small glass of champagne may be enough to trigger old addiction habits.
Recognize Potential Triggers
The first thing to do is take a step back and think about how Valentine’s Day may affect your sobriety. Being able to recognize all these potential problems will make sure you can come up with strategies to manage them. Those who struggle with social loneliness or relationship problems during Valentine’s Day may want to make plans for an outing with friends or family. If you do not have any loved ones nearby, joining local meetups can be a great way to meet new people. Another potential trigger can be boredom, so try to make plans to stay as busy as possible.
Another common addiction trigger during Valentine’s Day is the fact that the holiday is often celebrated by sharing alcoholic beverages. Try to remind yourself that the idea of needing drugs or alcohol to have a good time is a myth. There are coping skills programs for women in NC that may support you if you want to go to locations where there will be alcohol. However, it is perfectly fine to just celebrate at home and avoid seeing or hearing others consume alcohol. Try to be gentle with yourself instead of feeling ashamed or bitter that you may celebrate the holiday a little differently than others.
Come Up With Sober Valentine’s Day Ideas
Finding ways to stay busy and have fun during the holidays will make celebrating Valentine’s Day sober a lot more fun. A classic date, such as going to a nice restaurant and then watching a movie, can be a great way to connect. If you worry about being near alcohol, check the menus of local restaurants beforehand to find one without a liquor license. If you have a little more time for the holiday, make it into a special event by planning a day or weekend trip. Doing something like camping in the woods, going for a hike, or visiting a local art museum will give you hours to chat with your loved one while staying busy.
There are all sorts of fun options if you are single too. Consider hosting a “Galentine’s Day” brunch with all your female friends where you can let them know how much they mean to you. If you just want a quiet day at home, stock up on tasty Valentine’s Day candy and have fun watching romantic movies at home. Another very rewarding option is volunteering. Community centers, senior homes, and youth programs are often looking for people to help out with the Valentine’s Day events they host.
Make Time for Support
Because holidays can be such a big challenge for sobriety, you may want to make time to get a little extra help. Counselors are well aware of how Valentine’s Day can affect people dealing with substance abuse, so they can help you with celebrating Valentine’s Day sober. You may want to consider scheduling an extra therapy session or fitting in an additional group meeting. You can also check with any local 12-step support groups in NC to see if they have fun outings or events scheduled. If the stress of Valentine’s Day does lead to a relapse, do not let it ruin your sobriety goals. Relapse does not mean your treatment failed! Getting back into treatment and continuing to work towards sobriety is always possible.
At The Willows at Red Oak Recovery, we provide a wide variety of substance abuse treatment options that can help you to get a sober Valentine’s Day. In addition to our highly clinical therapist sessions, we offer therapeutic options like yoga, hiking, and service work. Contact The Willows to learn more about treatment in North Carolina. Continue on your path to recovery by calling 855.773.0614.