Skip to content
2 min read

Four Ways to Cope With Stress During the Holidays

The holidays are always a bit stressful, aren’t they? For many people in recovery, the holidays are more than stressful; they’re upsetting or intimidating. The holiday season can cause people in recovery strife for many reasons.

Some people have trauma in their pasts that brings up issues. You may be living with mental illness and have a family that’s not quite the best at understanding it or may have even handled it in a way that caused harm. You may feel guilt and shame for the pain your addiction caused your family. You may have been a “big partier” in the past, and not feel comfortable

Whatever the reason the holidays feel difficult, you’re not alone. Nobody has a perfect family or background that makes Thanksgiving and Christmas the best time of the year. Staying clean during the holidays can sometimes require creative problem-solving. Reaching out to somebody else in recovery is always your best option if you don't know what to do.Image of a young Asian man and an older Caucasian man in Xmas sweaters

Here are four important things to try during the holidays:

  1. Have a sober buddy. Ask permission to bring them to your holiday celebrations. Your sponsor is one person you can invite, or choose somebody else who doesn’t drink who will already be there. You may have an uncle or family member that is a lot of fun but doesn’t drink like the rest of the crowd.
  2. Make a plan to check in with others in recovery. Call or text your sponsor and friends to let them know how things are going and if you’re feeling stressed. Chances are, they may be having stress too! It’s easier when you know you’re not alone.
  3. Practice mindfulness if you’re upset. You can download mindfulness meditations from most cell phone app stores. Keep your phone with you and retreat to a private area for a few minutes. You’ll be able to slow your breathing and center yourself.
  4. Go to 12-step meetings. Some 12-step meetings have “marathons” or other special times for the holidays. If you think it’s going to be a hard day, plan to go to one meeting before a holiday event, and one session after.


The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but people new to recovery often feel fragile this time of year. It’s natural to feel a loss, shame, guilt, hurt and other emotions, but you don’t have to get high or drink over them. Staying clean is your top priority, and it’s important to take care of yourself.

Getting Help

Are you or somebody you love struggling with addiction? Are you unsure which services you need to get started on the path to recovery? Please give us a call at (619) 393-4767 to learn more about your options.




Read Full Bio
Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

Homepage Form

You CAN Achieve Sobriety

We Are Here To Guide You