How to Create a Holiday Relapse Prevention Plan

How to Create a Holiday Relapse Prevention Plan Pacific Manor Recovery

The Importance of Creating a Relapse Prevention Plan for the Holidays

The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with friends and family members that you may not see on a regular basis. Over the past few years, the COVID pandemic has taken away from the opportunity to spend more time with our loved ones. This holiday season may be one of the first times in quite a long time where you have had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends after the pandemic. If you have struggled with the disease of addiction or you are new to your addiction journey, it’s essential that you take the time to plan out how you will spend the holidays so that you can avoid the possibility of falling back into the trap of addiction. The holiday season can be notoriously difficult for people in recovery which is why it’s strongly recommended that you take every opportunity to make a holiday relapse prevention plan that will help you to remain focused on your overall goal of sobriety.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, Pacific Manor Recovery can help. Call (888) 300-4370 to learn more.

What is a Relapse Prevention Plan?

A relapse prevention plan is just that. It is a plan that will help you to avoid relapse. This is something that can be particularly helpful not only during the early stages of your recovery but especially during the holidays. While the holidays are undoubtedly a joyous time, they can also bring on a tremendous amount of stress. To ensure that you can remain focused on your goals of remaining sober and healthy, taking the time to put together a relapse recovery plan can save you a tremendous amount of frustration and heartache going forward.

Ideas for Your Holiday Relapse Prevention Plan

While no person ever consciously plans to have a relapse, it’s always a good rule of thumb to make plans to try to avoid this possibility. There are several steps that you can take to formulate a relapse prevention plan that can help you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones that much more. Here are some recommendations that you should keep in mind:


Be conscious of who will be attending the event

During the early stages of recovery and even well into your treatment journey, it’s possible that you may not have the ideal relationship with some of your family members. Keep in mind that there is a lot of hurt and pain that can go along with events that may have taken place during the time that you were in active addiction. It’s also possible that there may be family members that have triggered your addiction. Remember, it’s not impolite to ask the host of the event who will be attending. It also wouldn’t be impolite for you to decline to attend based on who is coming. While there may be friends or family members that you want to see, you should never put yourself in a position to come face to face with someone that will only ruin your chances of destroying what you have worked so hard to build.

Consider the environment

It wouldn’t be uncommon for a family to get together to include alcohol. In fact, there are many family events that revolve around the presence of alcohol. However, if you’re recovering from alcoholism, that type of atmosphere is the last place that you will want to be in. A good rule of thumb is to ask the host if they plan to have alcohol present. You may also be given the chance to have a say in whether or not alcohol will be at the get-together. It’s important that you think of yourself and how you feel around alcohol. There are some people that are in the midst of their recovery journey who simply cannot be around alcohol for a long time because it is something that will instantly trigger them. There are many other people that aren’t phased when they are around people that are drinking. There is not a right and a wrong answer to this decision, it’s key that you do what is right for you.

Line up your system of support

One of the reasons why you’re strongly encouraged to attend local NA or AA meetings and stay in touch with the people that you went through treatment with. When you attend 12 step meetings or actively participate in group therapy, you give yourself more of an opportunity to make these important connections. You can lean on these people and use them as your system of support when you feel as though your sobriety may be in jeopardy. In turn, you can also provide them with a support system in their time of need.

Try to create new traditions

Now that you are sober, it may be time for you to create new traditions. Whereas once upon a time, watching a football game while drinking beer may have been your holiday tradition, perhaps you can relapse this with a non-alcoholic drink or a different pastime. Maybe you can make time to go to a certain venue like an ice skating rink or volunteer at a local charity. Another excellent recommendation is to host your own sober event so this way you have more control over the situation and reduce the possibility of inadvertently being exposed to a situation that could trigger you.

Find your own holiday spirit

It’s undeniable that there will be certain times in your recovery journey where you may struggle with your sobriety. However, you can use the holidays as a way to help you find your own sense of joy and excitement. There are plenty of fun things to do around the holiday season that can help you to refocus your energy and joy.

Always put yourself first

Part of your recovery is finding ways to put yourself first when it comes to certain situations. Learning how to listen to your emotions, your needs, and what makes you healthy is key. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, it’s critical that you express that in a way that doesn’t trigger you any further. There is nothing wrong with getting up and leaving an environment or an activity that doesn’t promote your own self-care.

Find NA or AA meetings that are local to the area

If you find yourself traveling over the holiday season, you may want to think ahead and local 12 step meetings that are local to the area. In today’s digital day and age, you may be able to find a meeting that is held virtually. One of the fantastic things about NA and AA meetings is the fact that they can take place on any day at seemingly any time. However, it’s important that you check ahead to look at what meetings are in the area so that you can plan to attend one if needed. Before or after the meeting, you may want to pick up literature that you can read in your spare time that will help you to refocus. Another recommendation is that you purchase some books that can help you to reflect and recenter yourself.

Bring the number of your treatment facility with you

If you worked with the Pacific Manor Recovery team, then you know that our team will always be there to help you with anything that you need. Along with the phone numbers of your system of support, you should also make sure that you bring with you the phone number for the treatment facility that you worked with. If you feel as though you may be falling back into possible addiction, you can always check in with your treatment team so that they can provide you with a certain level of guidance.

Make time for meditation or exercise

Something that you will learn during your time in recovery is that setting time aside for meditation or exercise can greatly help you to maintain your sobriety. If you’re feeling stressed out about the upcoming holidays, part of your relapse prevention plan should be to boost up your exercise routine. Run that extra mile. Complete that extra set. Spend an extra few minutes taking some deep soothing breaths. You will likely come to find that you walk out of your workout session feeling better than when you began which can assist you in completely changing your outlook on something.

If you have experienced a relapse or think that your sobriety may be in jeopardy, the addiction experts at Pacific Manor Recovery are always here to help. Our intake team will take the time to listen to what you’re thinking or feeling so that we can provide you with the expert advice that you need at the moment and go over the treatment options that you have available to you. Regardless of whether you need a few words of encouragement or we to need to work with you to develop an immediate course of action to address a relapse, you can count on us. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at (888) 300-4370.