The holiday parties are in full swing now with lots of food and drinks to celebrate during this festive season. The holidays can also be a period of emotional highs and lows. Loneliness, anxiety, happiness and sadness are common feelings sometimes experienced in startling succession.

One can catch the holiday blues which can trigger relapse in recovering from alcoholism and other drug addiction. The holiday blues can be caused by doing too much or too little and being separated from loved ones at this special time which can often lead to sadness during the holiday season. Many recovering people associate the holidays with memories of over indulgence that resulted in relationship problems or great personal losses.

Feelings of melancholy, sadness and grief are sometimes tied to holiday recollections. The good news is, the blues can be remedied by planning ahead and there’s always help within your reach too.

Whether you’re in recovery or not, developing a holiday plan to prevent the blues, one that will confront unpleasant memories before they threaten your holiday experience is essential. Here are suggestions to achieve a happy, sober holiday season.

Find new ways to celebrate

Create some new symbols and rituals that will help redefine a joyful holiday season. Avoid isolation and spend time with people you like who are not substance users.

Take good care of yourself

Take some quiet time each day and work on an attitude of gratitude. Relax your standards and reduce overwhelming demands and responsibilities.

Don’t Overindulge

Follow a balanced diet. You can go with your own drinks to a party. A healthy mocktail is perfect. You can get great alcohol-free drink recipes at Also exercise regularly to help maintain your energy level amid a busier schedule. Don’t try to do too much. Get plenty of sleep because fatigue is a stressor.

Enhance your support system 

Holidays are a good time to reach out more frequently to your therapist, sponsor or support group. Let others help you realize your personal limits.

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The holiday season is also a time to evaluate your spirituality and find a personal way to draw support from the spirit of the season.

Recovery is serious work, but it is also important to have fun. Laugh a lot because laughter goes a long way. Take from the holiday season what is important for you and leave the rest.