Holiday stress will overwhelm just about everyone at some point. Whether it is unexpected holiday guests, ruined Thanksgiving dinners, or tight budgets for gift giving, stress is inevitable. For those struggling with drug abuse or addiction, this time of the year is especially dangerous. One of the primary reasons people relapse into drugs use is …
How to Avoid the Holiday Blues without Relapsing
Holiday stress will overwhelm just about everyone at some point. Whether it is unexpected holiday guests, ruined Thanksgiving dinners, or tight budgets for gift giving, stress is inevitable. For those struggling with drug abuse or addiction, this time of the year is especially dangerous. One of the primary reasons people relapse into drugs use is to combat stress, depression, and anxiety. There are several good ways to beat holiday stress without relapsing. According to Indiana University, these methods can be divided into two categories, active and inactive.
Active methods of reducing holiday stress are any physical activities that suppress the stress response, or convert it, by causing the release of different neurotransmitters in the system. This makes active methods highly effective. Five such activities include:
- active individual sports like running, hiking, swimming, and biking,
- active group sports like football, baseball, and basketball,
- adventure sports like skydiving and bungee jumping,
- relaxing leisure sports like golf, and
- exciting leisure activities like riding a rollercoaster.
All of these active methods can help reduce holiday stress, and deliver a natural “high” that reduces the cravings for illicit drugs.
Active methods of reducing holiday stress are not right for everyone. For those that seek out less action and adventure, inactive methods may be more suitable. Inactive methods of stress reduction work in much the same way as active methods, except that target different neurotransmitters and focus more on controlling stress and drug cravings. It is a classic example of mind over matter. Five of these methods are:
- deep meditation, which frees the mind and grants it further control,
- prayer, which has been shown to bring calm and relaxation to people of faith,
- reading or writing, which can distract you, or allow you to express thoughts and feelings in a constructive way,
- yoga, which combines breathing techniques and stretching to improve physical well-being and mental focus, and
- hypnosis, which can be either self-induced, or performed by a professional hypnotherapist.
These inactive methods can be just as effective as the active ones, and the combination of active and inactive methods can go a long way to reducing holiday stress, and helping to keep you drug free.
Ask for help
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, causes of the holiday blues are different for everyone, and it can cause a relapse in drug abuse regardless of the amount of time of sobriety. While all of these methods are effective, there may still come a time when the stress of the holidays is just too much to take. In those cases, the best thing to do is ask for help. Whether it is from a friend, family member, or a treatment center. Remember that you are worthy of a happy and healthy life, and holiday season. For more information about beating holiday stress without relapsing into drug use or if you need help getting off drugs this holiday season call us at 1-(800) 407-7195.