Christmas and New Years can form critical make or break situations with many people – both in and out of recovery. Family dynamics, arguments, uncomfortable moments and even feelings of loneliness can affect anyone at anytime.

But the question is, how do you engage in behaviours that align with who you want to be and how you want to act? How do you get through the holiday season without picking up a drink, a drug or having a bet?

There are several ways to help yourself through this holiday season.

  • Practicing mindfulness through guided meditation and deep breathing is one way that can help you be present in the moment and ‘ground yourself’ in times of stress or anxiety.
  • Yoga and meditation at the hundreds of studios close to you. A great way to also ground yourself and be present in the moment
  • Writing a daily plan. This is important to do around the big days like Christmas and New Years eve. Writing a daily plan will ensure that there is a course of action for your day and something to refer back on if you feel like you’re veering off track.
  • Construct an exit plan! These sort of plans can be useful when you find yourself in the middle of a situation that feels uncomfortable. Gently remind yourself that “i need to look after my own needs”.
  • Keep it in the day! This is a simple way to keep your actions for the day. instead of saying, i’m not going to drink tomorrow; just focus on the day at hand. If that becomes difficult, keep it in the hour, the minute or even just the moment.
  • Write a gratitude list. This will help you be grateful and reminded of things that are good in your life instead of focusing on the negative thoughts that send us to pick up a drink or drug.
  • Have phone numbers handy. If your struggling, call someone. Connect, reach out and ask for help. This doesn’t always need to be a sponsor – this could be a friend, a family member or even someone who simply has the same values that you aspire to.
  • Be kind, both to yourself and to others.

12-Step Meetings, peers in recovery and support various support networks are available to the public during this time of year.

There’s an influx of people around Australia trying to find their way into rehabilitation services between November and early January. The ‘New Years Resolution’ talks, the ‘this is my last hoorah’ discussions. So many promises can come up – but why wait until Jan 1st to get well?

The overwhelming realisation that our drinking and using has become unmanageable is an idea that not many people will learn to understand. It is with the help of support networks, peers in recovery and 12-step based recovery centres that aim to help those who seek their own recovery.

For more information or support, give us a call (02) 9810 3117.




Alex Kalliris