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How to Approach Thanksgiving with a Sense of Mindfulness

family meets for thanksgiving

Alcohol is consumed in massive proportions around the holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. When you are in recovery, it helps to have a sense of mindfulness when you approach the holidays. Learn how to cultivate it this season.

Busiest Day of the Year

Many people choose to get intoxicated around Thanksgiving, generally the night before, because it helps them cope with what is to come. Excessive drinking can lead to irresponsible, reckless behavior and also health problems. It destroys relationships, families, and friendships. People even lose their lives because of it. Bars are busy and packed the night before Thanksgiving as people drink away sorrows in the midst of feeling sad or angry around the holidays.

Plan Mindfully

Thanksgiving eve drinking traditions and activities can wreak havoc on recovery. It can lead to blackouts and accidents for people in recovery. It is essential to create a mindful plan for Thanksgiving eve. Mindfulness in recovery may include meditation and breathing techniques that change how you think about your approach to cravings, triggers, and those challenging ‘day before’ the holiday festivities. Here are some tips to help you celebrate sober this season:

  • Prioritize self-care. Holidays take energy and can be emotionally draining. Maintain the best health possible so you can feel strong and have stamina for the journey.
  • Buck tradition. Drinking and partying are in your past in recovery. Your tribe may not be, though. Don’t let this stop you from developing a new strategy in recovery. Get clear on your intention not to drink so you can stand up to anyone who tries to foist a libation your way.
  • Gather with sober friends. You may have loving friends of old, but you may find they still like to drink. If you meet them for dinner, do so where you can stay away from triggers. Have plans for movies or a play so you can do something other than be around places that serve alcohol as a sole purpose.
  • Plan for accountability. It helps to commit to something the next day when you know you cannot show up drunk or hungover. Take it further by committing to make coffee or bring food so people can rely on you. Make sure you have accountability to yourself.
  • Practice gratitude. Expressing gratitude on Thanksgiving eve, or planning it for dinner talk, can help with the approach to holidays. Think of ways people have helped you and loved on you. Make a list so you can refer to the positive aspects of the holiday season. Recognize why you are thankful and how you can try harder this year to do what you need to stay clean and sober, even if just for one more day.

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare knows that lifetime sobriety, health, and wellness, are completely possible. Each of our treatment programs offer the opportunity for holistic healing utilizing an integrative approach for the recovery of mind, body, and spirit. You can recover. You will recover. Call us today for more information: 844-560-7269