The holidays are an amazing time of celebration and camaraderie. However, for those continuing to navigate their recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) after graduating from one of our Hawaii drug treatment programs, the holidays can also be an exceptionally challenging time, filled with urges, cravings, anxiety, and more. Being open to starting new traditions can help make this time of year fresh, ensuring that not only do those in recovery and their families still have opportunities to enjoy the holidays, but are also able to approach the holiday season while maintaining their sober lifestyle. 

The Power of New Traditions

Tradition can be ingrained in the holiday season. For many families, regular yearly rituals can be common, and many may look forward to a comfortable and familiar way of celebrating the holidays. However, some of these traditions can be closely tied to past use of addictive substances. In this way, finding new traditions in sobriety is not just encouraged but is a necessary change for a person’s sobriety. 

Not only can the use of addictive substances themselves be tied to the holidays but some traditions may also hold connotations or present unnecessary reminders of past use. Finding a genuinely new way to approach the holidays is paramount, not only to avoid these past stresses but also to further champion a sustainable life of sobriety as an alumnus. New traditions can not only ensure that an individual isn’t exposing themselves to unnecessary stress throughout the holidays but also embracing a transformed lifestyle for themselves while engaging in effective familial healing. 

Starting New Traditions

It can be difficult to find a new way to approach the holidays, especially if past holiday traditions are ingrained in an individual’s expectations and perspectives of the holidays. However, starting new traditions is a powerful and transformative practice, and exploring new traditions and various ways to approach the holiday can empower alumni and their families to celebrate and acknowledge each person’s sober transformation and also create new holiday expectations for years to come.

Celebrating the Holidays in Sobriety
Celebrating the Holidays in Sobriety

Navigating the holiday season in sobriety can be challenging. Our Hawaii recovery center is here to support you. Call Hawaii Island Recovery at (866) 390-5070.

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Finding a New Tradition That Works

Recovery is a personal journey and the new traditions that best resonate with each alumnus and their families will vary from person to person. Exploring multiple new traditions and working with family members, supports, and the professionals at Hawaii Island Recovery can empower each alumnus to approach the holiday season with an open mind and a plan for a fresh way to experience the holiday season.

Volunteer Together

Volunteering can be a powerful experience in recovery, helping to give back to communities that supported a person’s transformation or to find a new role in a community in sobriety. Getting the family involved and volunteering together can help to further these experiences, changing the holiday season to an opportunity to provide fulfilling service alongside others and continue to develop a person’s sober identity. 

Cleaning projects, donation drives, soup kitchens, and more can all be great ways to get involved throughout the holiday season and can highlight feelings of gratitude, service, and more during the holiday. 

Host Game Nights

Starting a game night can be powerful in recovery. Being able to sit at a table and play a game with family and friends is a profound experience for those in recovery, and its role goes beyond having a relaxing evening. Rather, various games may necessitate cooperation, communication, trust, and more which are important skills to continue developing in sobriety. Likewise, having a night to create new and fun memories without the use of drugs or alcohol can further establish the holiday season as a time when addictive substances are no longer necessary, or even considered. 

Caucasian male on outdoor wooden bridge
How to Stay Sober During the Holidays

To learn more about staying sober during the holidays or how to avoid things that may jeopardize your recovery, call HIR at (866) 390-5070.

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Create a Holiday Feast

Cooking food can be a great act of service throughout the holidays, as well as a way to express gratitude or provide for those who have supported each alumnus throughout their sober journey during the year. Approaching the holidays as a time when an individual can give back to friends and family, or explore new traditions, cultures, or regional cuisines can create new experiences and expectations for the holiday season. 

Explore New Traditions by Embracing Gratitude

Learning to both embrace and express gratitude in recovery is a powerful experience. For some alumni of dedicated addiction recovery programs, it can be difficult to receive gratitude, as many may still be overcoming closely held beliefs that they are somehow unworthy of gratitude. Others can embrace gratitude by giving thanks to others and acknowledging specific efforts and changes made by supports that have been instrumental in furthering a person’s sober goals. 

Gift-giving, making cards, or even just sitting down for dinner and conversation to draw attention to gratitude this holiday season can be a great new tradition for those continuing to manage their sober transformations in daily life. 

Attend Local Functions

Local holiday events can be a great way to get into the holiday spirit. However, for those in recovery, they can also be a fantastic opportunity to get themselves involved in local communities in sobriety. Feeling connected to a person’s community and feeling like they belong can be a truly powerful experience in sobriety, especially after overcoming feelings of isolation that commonly affect those navigating addiction. 

Holiday parades, events, and more are all ways for local communities to create new traditions in sobriety while maintaining a healthy holiday spirit. Attending these functions with family, or peers met in continued outpatient treatment at Hawaii Island Recovery, can introduce new perspectives on how to approach the holiday season. 

New traditions can mark a truly transformed life for alumni navigating their sobriety throughout the holiday season. Helping you find new practices, traditions, and more is part of our continued efforts to facilitate healing both inside and outside our walls. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we understand that healing and recovery are year-round endeavors, and even after graduating from one of our Hawaii drug treatment programs, we are still committed to helping you create the best approach to a sustainable sober future. From continued outpatient support to being an open line to call, we can help you find new traditions, hobbies, and more as you explore your new, sober life. For information on how we can support you, call (866) 390-5070.