The holidays can be a stressful time for many people, especially if it’s your first holiday season sober. Finances, travel, and family are all stressors that can result in cravings to drink and/or use. It’s easy to get thrown off balance when you bombarded with family reunions and holiday parties packed with enough alcohol to last weeks, not to mention all of the holiday meals and desserts. Days get shorter and colder the closer we get to the end of the year, resulting in less sunlight, fresh air, and exercise. This combination makes for a perfect storm to increase stress and lower mood. By the time the holiday season is over, you may feel like you need a break. The following tips will help you recover from the holidays and get back on track.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Avoiding disruptions during the holidays is difficult. Between travel and family commitments, it’s likely you missed some 12-step meetings, slacked on your fitness routine, and ate some food that left you feeling stuffed and lethargic. Don’t beat yourself up! Remember that this is a time of year to enjoy, savoring time spent with family and friends. Be grateful for the memories, and move on.
Get Back on Schedule as Soon as Possible
After the chaos and cheer of the holidays, many people suddenly feel disoriented and let down in the cold light of January. The best thing to do is get back into your regular routine, even if you feel a bit creaky at first. Start with your recovery basics. For many, this means regular meetings, therapy sessions, meditation, journaling, and connecting with your sober support system. Getting back into your recovery groove may take a bit of forced action at first. Trust that your momentum will build with consistency, and you’ll reestablish your routine in no time.
Get Some Exercise
Returning to the gym is crucial when recovering from the holidays. Post-holiday blues are usually a mix of stress, too much food and lack of physical activity. Getting back on schedule with your exercise is the best way to shake off the ‘lazies’ you may be experiencing as a result of being under stimulated and overfed. Typically, you can pick up right where you left off. However, dialing it back a bit at first may be your best bet to get back into the swing of things.
Eat Something Boring
Sweets and other rich foods can make you feel lethargic and bring down your mood. After weeks of cookies and pies, it can be a relief to eat something healthy and thoroughly boring. Start your new year with some plain oatmeal and fruit. Eat plenty of vegetables, especially the green leafy kind. You’ll feel better mentally, emotionally and physically after a few days of nourishing your body with healthy foods.
Looking for Help?
Recovering from addiction means making many healthy lifestyle changes. This is always a messy process. Some days you do great while others are more difficult. Creating healthy routines and committing to consistency helps to make these changes habitual, eliminating the need to think so hard about them. At Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon, we help men build healthy lifestyles that sustain long-term recovery from addiction. To learn more about our holistic treatment program, call us today at (503) 850-2474