For a number of people, the holidays are time spent with family and friends, attending Christmas parties, exchanging gifts and baking old family recipes. For some individuals, however, Christmas and Thanksgiving are more challenging times of the year as the ability to enjoy the festivities of the holidays is limited.
For those in residency in sober living homes, the holidays can feel very different and perhaps less special than normal. And while it’s true that Christmas spent in a sober living home is not the same, it’s also true that the staff works hard to provide a peaceful, enjoyable environment while helping residents maintain recovery.
Holidays and recovery
Maintaining sobriety during the holidays can be difficult for those newly sober or, frankly, anyone recovering from addiction. With the upsurge in parties and merriment comes a greater space for increased exposure to triggers — so while it might seem unfortunate to spend the holidays in a sober living home, it can actually be very beneficial to those in recovery.
Christmas and Thanksgiving are still another day in rehab — they’re another step in the right direction towards sobriety, with meetings and programs and activities throughout the day. In recovery, it is just as important to maintain this routine as it is to celebrate the season.
How do sober living homes celebrate Christmas?
Every sober living home is different, with varying protocols and traditions when it comes to celebrating the holidays. Generally speaking, you can expect some of the following ways in which festivities are celebrated.
Spending holidays in a sober living home is challenging enough, and no one would expect you to spend it without your family if you don’t have to. For most homes, family visits are allowed and encouraged on Christmas and Thanksgiving days.
Some may request to go home for the holidays, but especially for those in early recovery, this is not recommended. For those who have been journeying through recovery for some time, however, they may feel that the holidays are actually a good time to go home and reintegrate into family life for a day. Regardless of where you fall, it’s important to follow the guidance of your counselor and celebrate where they think is best.
Volunteering is an important part of the recovery journey as it helps you focus on others and build a sense of gratitude in your life. The holidays are a beautiful time to give back to the community by helping with food drives, gift exchanges and events for those who have no one to celebrate with (consider those in a nursing home, for example).
Many sober living homes strive to get their residents involved in volunteer work and with so many opportunities during Christmastime to do just that, residents are likely to find joy and appreciation in the ways they give back during this stage of treatment.
Being surrounded by support
Being in recovery during the holidays might seem like a lonely thought, but truthfully, you are surrounded by people who are like-minded with similar goals and shared experiences. It’s actually a special opportunity to celebrate with those you’ve been journeying alongside.
Depending on your treatment home, you and your housemates may help decorate, participate in holiday food preparation and even exchange gifts with one another. Together, you all will be free from the pressures and triggers of what may be present in holiday parties, free to celebrate peacefully within the safe environment of the treatment home.
When you celebrate the holidays by attending office parties, family gatherings and other events, it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter triggers and temptations. However, when you choose to stay in the sober living home for the holiday, you are not only witnessing how important recovery is to you, you’re keeping yourself removed from situations you may not want to face.
While in residency, you don’t have to present excuses for why you don’t want to attend parties — you have that entire pressure removed from you simply because it’s not an option. This can be a huge sense of relief for many individuals in treatment.
Enjoying the holidays while in recovery
Celebrating the holidays while living in a sober living home isn’t meant to be a punishment or a miserable time of missing out — it’s a unique time to continue prioritizing your recovery while celebrating this time of year with the people who have been journeying with you through treatment. Sober living homes strive to both uphold the festive season and encourage sober living choices throughout.
To get in touch with a sober living home and learn more about this unique treatment opportunity, contact Silver Ridge Recovery. Call us at 855-945-7788 to get in touch today.