After you’ve been in alcohol rehab awhile, you may begin to realize that your old traditions – holiday and otherwise – don’t fit into your sober lifestyle. Popping the champagne cork on New Year’s Eve, ringing in the New Year with drinks, and attending Christmas parties where alcohol is served may have been part of your past, but they can’t be part of your present if you wish to pursue a successful recovery.
Unfortunately, sustained sobriety doesn’t just require avoiding parties and people who drink. It requires work to change the mentality that drinking is foundational to fun. It requires challenging the part of you that romanticizes alcohol, and the part of you that believes drinking is the best way to “loosen up” at parties or family gatherings. And, it requires believing that you bring value to your relationships without the “help” of a drink.
New Traditions for a New You
Sobriety is a total change in your thought processes, lifestyle, and social connections, and it begins with remembering the bad times as well as the good times. After all, the fact that you ended up in rehab for substance abuse must mean drinking wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Remembering why you chose to get sober can fuel your desire to develop new traditions.
To establish new traditions, identify old habits, first. According to New York Times’ best seller Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, habits consist of three things: a cue or trigger for the behavior; the routine or behavior, itself; and a reward (something that tells your brain this behavior is worth repeating). As you dissect this three-part loop and begin to identify your old cues and rewards, mix up the routine. When your stress cue creeps in, you used to reach for a bottle. Now, try going for a run, playing a board game with friends, or catching a movie after Christmas dinner instead of having a nightcap. Over time, your brain will begin to associate productive outcomes (rewards) with these new routines. When repeated over and over and over, this process can overpower those old, destructive patterns.
Holiday Help at 10 Acre Ranch Men’s Rehab
This year, the holidays are your chance to begin anew. One of the best ways to cement your recovery is to develop new habits that yield healthy rewards. At our CA men’s rehab facility, residents walk alongside other recovering alcoholics who are also struggling to develop new lifestyles and traditions. When you’ve reached the end of your rope, our credentialed addiction specialists and clinical team provide the counseling, life skills, and relapse prevention planning you need to make a successful “go” of sobriety. Begin your New Year’s resolution today. Call 877.228.4679 to begin the admissions process.
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