Preparing for Thanksgiving in Recovery

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and for those in recovery, this can be a stressful time. Many get-togethers include alcohol, family you may not have seen in a while, and the usual smattering of chaos. Feel more prepared for the Thanksgiving festivities this year by planning ahead and making your recovery a priority.

  • Ask about an alcohol-free get-together: Instead of wine or beer with dinner, have sparkling cider or whip up a festive non-alcohol beverage. If alcohol isn’t an option, people will drink what you provide or have water or coffee instead.
  • Have an accountability buddy: If there will be alcohol present, or you’re unsure, have a close family member or friend stick with you to hold you more accountable and so you know you won’t be the only one not drinking.
  • Know your triggers: If bantering with Uncle John or Aunt Joan makes your stress level soar and increases your urge to drink, steer clear. Say a polite hello and focus on socializing with others. Take a few minutes to meditate, stretch, or engage in deep breathing to keep calm and relaxed.
  • Attend a meeting: Start your Thanksgiving break with a support group meeting. Connect with others facing similar challenges and motivate and encourage one another to stay on track with recovery and handle challenges in healthier ways.
  • Host your own get-together: Not ready to see the whole family yet? Hold a small celebration with just a few close family members and friends. You’ll be more in control of the situation but still get to spend time with loved ones.

Do what you need to do to feel comfortable and supported in your recovery over the holidays. You know your limits, so listen to your instincts, and if you need to leave, politely excuse yourself and don’t feel bad. Northbound’s In Vivo® model helps clients feel more prepared to handle life’s ups and downs, and outpatient treatment and aftercare services can provide ongoing support and guidance in recovery. Take each situation in stride and know that you are empowered make good decisions for your well-being and to support your recovery.

Feeling unsure about the upcoming holidays and looking for additional recovery support? Northbound can provide the help you need.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *