2020 has not been the best year for anyone. Let’s face it; it’s been strange and difficult. Many people started this pandemic, believing that it would last a few weeks or months. Today, we are just beginning to turn another corner that makes it look like we’re going back into a shutdown just in time for a holiday season. COVID-19, mental health, and staying sober are things a person in recovery must consider when planning for this holiday season.
Staying Safe At Holiday Season Get-Togethers
It can be hard to be alone this holiday season, but many people will be. Risking your health or the health of others isn’t going to help you stay sober. You may have family members asking you to attend gatherings. Or you may be talking about doing a socially-distanced event with a few of your immediate family. There are challenges to celebrating for everyone.
Holiday time is often a time of turbulence for people who are newly-sober. Try only to attend events where alcohol is not being served. If you are in a COVID-19 hotspot, it may make sense to not attend any events in person at all. If there is alcohol present, ask the host or hostess to provide an alternative, preferably at a different table.
Make a plan to stay sober and work your recovery program this holiday season. Your plan may include forming a small “pod” of recovery peers you meet in-person regularly but no one else. If so, you’ll also want to get regular tests for COVID. If you are visiting family or traveling, COVID-19 tests may be required in some jurisdictions.
Socializing Online in Recovery
You can go to 12-step meetings online whenever you need to. Your local AA meetings are probably also set up online – search for them online to get specifics. They may have special events for the holidays.
If you’re lonely during the holidays, you’re probably not alone! Get in touch with others in recovery and make plans to do something “virtually” like stream a holiday movie. You can use chat to make comments or even stream it on Twitch for your friends to watch with you.
Safety At In-Person Holiday Gatherings
Be as safe as you can be, especially when it comes to caring about others. If you have an elderly relative, you may want to call them on the phone rather than visit them in person. The same is true for any other relatives you worry about.
Remember that wearing a mask in public is an essential part of being accountable for your actions. While it’s rarely followed, Dr. Fauci has recommended that people wear face masks at small family gatherings indoors.
Respect public health guidelines and avoiding risky behavior. For one thing, you don’t want to get sick or transmit a virus.
This Holiday, Too, Shall Pass
It may seem more stressful or less cheerful this year because it’s dangerous to do holiday activities in-person. It’s fair to acknowledge those feelings, but it’s still essential to follow guidelines. This year may be a year you make sacrifices to get through.
Next year might be completely different. We don’t know what is coming, but you have the tools to cope with what is here at this moment. If you’re worried or need reassurance, reach out to a sober friend or your sponsor.
Practice self-care and be gentle with yourself. This year, the holidays may seem sad, but this is just the year 2020. There are many more holidays to come! Try to find ways to celebrate with people you love.
Getting Help For Addiction
Even with the holidays, there are opportunities to get sober. COVID-19 may have changed a few things, but we can still offer you the help you need to start our journey. Contact us at 619-316-4767 to learn more about how we can help.