The holidays can be a challenging time for someone struggling with addiction. While many Americans think of the Christmas tree, big family dinners, hot cocoa by the fire, and going to see a child in a concert, others may struggle with depression because the holidays can also mean financial strain, family conflict, loneliness, and seasonal affective disorder. It can be a triggering time of the year for someone recovering from addiction.
If you know someone recovering from addiction, this can be an important time of the year to reach out. Your support could be even more essential during the holidays.
Time is short during the holiday season, but make time for someone dealing with addiction. Invite your family member or friend to go for hot cocoa or walk together in the snow. Ask them how they are doing, and be ready to listen.
For many people, drinking alcohol while in recovery will lead them back to their original substance use disorder, so it’s essential to have various non-alcoholic options on hand when hosting holiday parties. It’s nice to have more than just water or a soda, so it’s not obvious to everyone that they are in recovery. Some people prefer to blend in with the crowd while making healthy choices. Consider adding a punch or a mocktail option to the menu.
The holiday pressures of gifts, events, and doing it all can cause anyone to get stressed out. It’s important to let your friends and family members dealing with addiction know that you are there and care. Tell them you support them showing up in whatever capacity they choose, and be okay if they choose not to participate as well. Remember to check in with them after the holidays too.