12 Helpful Holiday Tips for Abstinence

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 11, 2023 10:43:29 AM / by Nancy Kaley

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  1. INTENTION: Begin each day with humility. Reach out and connect with something greater than you, in whatever way resonates for you. Help me. Show me. Guide me. Take away my difficulties. Heal and care for me. Lead me with Love. Breathe in, breathe out. Ask your Higher Power to assist you with navigating this day as it unfolds.
  2. FOOD PLAN: Have a clear and simple food plan, be prepared with necessities such as a take along starch, V8 juice for vegetables, salad dressing for fats and a snack to go. Weigh and measure, drink enough water and stay off the scale other than on your designated weigh day.
  3. SOBER PLAN: Commit to staying clean today with a clear intention, no matter what.  A celebration, stressful event, difficulty in relationships or daily nuisances of life is not an off ramp from the recovery highway. If your destination is sobriety, for today, you will not take that exit.
  4. SELF-CARE: Take time for physical self-care! Exercise, take a hot bath or a long shower, get a haircut and color ,or a mani/pedi. Take a walk in the fresh air and get adequate rest. Wear clothes that fit and you feel good in. Keep your appointments with your therapist, your dentist and doctor. Get a massage or other healing service.
  5. BOUNDARIES: Establish safety and boundaries around what is reasonable for a food/sugar addict in recovery. Allow yourself the same Grace you would grant a friend. Do not participate in baking traditions and exchanges, watch cooking shows, purchase or prepare trigger foods for gatherings or gifts.
    Establish this same standard regarding alcohol and other drugs, again allowing yourself the Grace you would offer your fellows. Say no to the gathering where alcohol is served and others may be using. Avoid old haunts and establish new safe places to dine out, watch the game or meet up with family and friends. Clear numbers out of your phone and friends lists. This is a tough one. Boundaries are safety and safety is freedom.
  6. TIME MANAGEMENT: Prioritize your time and schedule. Complete important tasks, some things can wait. Go to meetings, don’t skip your meetings, add a meeting by visiting a new one in person or on ZOOM! Kindly pass on functions that are not critical or if they cause undue stress.
  7. GIFTS: To gift is defined as “to give something without the hopes of getting anything in return”. Think about each person on your list, pray and ask what would be meaningful coming from you. It may be time, energy or support. It may be a small gift, a gesture. Be creative about what you offer. Do not overspend, it’s like overeating or using and will have a negative impact on your overall health in recovery.
  8. KISS! Keep It Simple Sister! Keep it ALL simple! Decorations, presents, gatherings, food and especially expectations!
  9. CONNECTION: Stay connected to others and to recovery energy and activities. Watch for isolation and self-pity. Don’t go it alone. Say YES to service opportunities. Don’t skip meetings, did I remember to say not to skip meetings? GO TO MEETINGS!
  10. WRITING: Write! Write about a reading or meditation. Write a holiday letter or a card to someone you love. Write about and share with a fellow about difficult holiday triggers or relationships. Write a daily 10th step inventory. Write to understand, write to heal, write to get healthy and stay sober.
  11. SUPPORT: Call, text, facetime, make a funny video and send it to a fellow. WE are kind, loving, funny, good looking and wise. Share and receive this support.
  12. FUN: Music, reading, Christmas light tours, movies or a play…participate in abstinent activities that make you feel good. If you love Christmas music turn it on, if you dislike Christmas music change the channel. Watch Rudolph or Frosty or The Grinch. Listen to a comedian or read a good book. DO what makes you feel good. DON’T do what doesn’t. TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE!
  13. GRATITUDE: Thank You. Always, at the end of and throughout the day be aware and grateful. This is vital. 

Topics: alcohol addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, celebration

Nancy Kaley

Written by Nancy Kaley

Nancy Kaley BS, LADC is the Program Director and Facilitator of the COR Retreat. Since participating in November 2014 she has released and maintained a 100-pound weight loss, improved health, freedom from food obsession, enhanced relationships and newfound personal joy and empowerment. Through her commitment to embrace and practice what she learned at COR not only has Nancy been able to maintain peace and neutrality in her relationship with food she has discovered an even deeper appreciation for her sobriety and fellowship of the program. Before beginning her career with COR, Nancy worked as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor for over 20 years. Nancy was employed in a variety of settings including Outpatient, Residential and Co-occurring which addresses both mental health and chemical dependency issues. She has enjoyed working at different times exclusively with women and men developing an ability to respond to the experience and unique needs of both. Nancy’s proficiencies and passion embrace the 12-Step model of recovery incorporating understanding about the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of self while working to heal, grow and build support with others who are experiencing the same challenges and success. Nancy enjoys time with her 3 adult sons, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, extended family, friends and many supportive fellows she has met over 35 years in the rooms of recovery. She has a variety of interests including exercise, live music, reading and writing.

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