What are some Coping Strategies for Addicts during the Holidays?
The holidays really create a lot of chaos because it changes people’s routine. We’re talking about the holidays basically from Thanksgiving to the last part of November to about the middle of January with New Year’s Eve. In terms of family life and employment, people are off of work and there’s a very complicated daily routine. So it’s very difficult to be in a position to take care of people who are in the process of recovery and they are needing routine at the time of recovery. People aren’t going to work nine to five, the temperature is changing, and we’re having early onset of darkness. All those things make it very complicated.
The essence of treating someone who has an addiction during that time is to make sure you have a daily schedule, a daily plan, and you are getting things accomplished. Make sure to have something to get accomplished in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening. Those three things are really important and have some level of accountability that forces people to focus on consistent behavior. The holidays for sure for almost a two month period of time, things are chaotic with family life, people coming and going, so it’s really important to have a daily routine.
Here at ATS we really stress having a daily routine, that includes exercise every day, if you can get to the gym every day. It will release substances call BDF, which will grow your brain and improve your mood and self-esteem and make you feel overall better. So exercise in conjunction with other types of activities throughout the day, that you can have a checklist and have those things done everyday despite how you feel.
How Can Loved Ones Help Someone Struggling With Addiction?
Family members can assist with that by helping them devise what a checklist should be. Give them daily tasks that you want them to do, whether it’s helping around the house, make your bed, make sure you exercise, both physical and cognitive exercise. Whether it’s playing the piano or learn to play the fiddle, just doing something that helps your brain. The boredom or the lethargy that usually occurs at that time. Their time needs to b structured.
Anything that loved ones can do to structure their time or even spend time with them, even if it’s playing board games, all that is great. Anything you can do to encourage and get patients with an addiction engaged, well those are all positive things.
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