If you are in early recovery, you might think that celebrating the holidays is going to look quite different than in recent years. Attending alcohol or drug rehab means you are already aware that relapse is something you must always guard against. Yet the holidays, especially during early recovery, can be a time of great joy and celebration even as you struggle with your addiction. The following tips may help you make new holiday traditions as you work to build your new life in the New Year.

It’s All About Connection in Early Recovery

If you previously viewed the holidays as a time of parties and indulgence, it can be helpful to amend your point of view so that you look at the holidays as a time of connection and re-connection. Get in touch with old friends–friends leading a healthy lifestyle and not your “party” friends. Be sure you connect with family members. These are the people who can provide you with the emotional support you need to enjoy a stable recovery period.

5 Helpful Tips for Celebrating the Holidays in Early Recovery

Make Sure You Get Lots of Rest

Getting off drugs and alcohol is uber-healthy for your body, but the holidays with their hustle and bustle can also take a toll on your mental and physical health. Be sure to pace yourself so that you get adequate rest. You may not feel it, but your body is repairing itself as best it can from the damaging effects that drugs or alcohol did to it. Take time to relax and get the rest your healing body needs.

5 Helpful Tips for Celebrating the Holidays in Early Recovery

Create New Traditions

The early recovery period can be challenging. To keep from dwelling on the difficulty of changing your life and leaving drugs or alcohol behind, try to enrich your time with new activities that could even become new holiday traditions. Some good ideas that you could try are things like restorative yoga or art therapy, but you can test out new hobbies that can also be therapeutic like wood carving, ice skating, cooking, or hiking.

5 Helpful Tips for Celebrating the Holidays in Early Recovery

Keep Calm and Avoid Conflicts

Not every family is brimming with joy during the holidays. Disconnections within the family setting are commonplace, but that doesn’t mean you, at this vulnerable time in your life, need to step into the fray. When conflicts arise, you may choose to dismiss yourself from the group until the trouble passes. If family drama was a trigger for you to use drugs or alcohol, you need to do your best to avoid it.

5 Helpful Tips for Celebrating the Holidays in Early Recovery

Take Pride in Yourself and Stay Positive

People struggling with addiction often feel much regret in their past actions. Drug addiction recovery and recovery from alcoholism can be difficult, so be sure you remember to take pride in your perseverance to stay clean, to turn your life around. Positive thoughts and positive self-esteem can help you get through the difficult moments during your recovery.

You deserve to feel joy at this time of year just like everyone else, so keep these tips in mind as you navigate your way through the holiday season and through your early recovery.