Holiday Survival Kit

December 15, 2020 5:00 am By In:

The holidays are often characterized as a season of togetherness with family and loved ones, but for many, navigating through this time of year while sober is uncharted territory. We, at Catalyst, understand firsthand the potential challenges and want to offer our 5 point plan for surviving the holidays. 

1. Plan

First things first, always have a plan! Having a plan ensures the best opportunity for a successful outcome.

  • How long will you be there? Less than 24-hours: Know your arrival/exit times. Longer than 24-hours: break up your time at home with outside activities. Visit friends, investigate in-person or zoom meetings nearby. 
  • What are your boundaries? What steps will you be willing and able to take if you feel triggered?
  • If possible, talk with someone you can confide in who will also be present at the function/s that will support your exit strategy if it becomes necessary.
  • Create a prepared reason for needing to leave.

2. Pregame

Be your best self before you go!

  • Rest before your trip and make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before.
  • Be aware of your eating habits prior, stress can cause us to under/overeat. 
  • Physical exercise, whether an intense regimen or simple stretching/movement routines, helps with decreasing anxiety.

3. Be of service

Get out of your head by getting to work!

  • A staple of most recovery models is being of service to others.
  • The benefit is clear: when you’re busy helping others you have less time to focus on the negative aspects of a situation, whether real or imagined. 
  • It also creates a sense of purpose, which will in turn create a sense of satisfaction in you and alter the interactions you have with others.

4. Take a break

Just like in the big game sometimes we need to take a time out.

  • Utilize your personal space.
  • Take a walk.
  • Find a safe space, extra room, bathroom, outside yard.
  • Utilize your support system, text or call predesignated friends.
  • Pray and/or meditate.

5. Utilize exit strategy

In case of emergency, break glass.

  • Be prepared to follow through with the exit plan you designed.
  • Holidays can be a time when our most difficult relationships can trigger us and we can revert to old behaviors, or maladaptive coping skills, and create uncomfortable or painful environments.
  • Removing ourselves is a last resort but an important one, if necessary.

Maintaining our recovery is the goal and we hope these tips help support you throughout this holiday season. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. 

The Catalyst Team wishes you and yours a safe, healthy, and happy holidays!

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