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The Transition House, Inc.

How to deal with stress and stay sober during the holidays


The holidays can be stressful, particularly if you are coping with anxiety or depression, or if you are trying to maintain sobriety. Learn how to deal with stress during the holidays and follow these tips to boost your mental health throughout the holiday season.

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Maintain realistic expectations.

Things may not go according to plan or be absolutely perfect, but by maintaining realistic expectations, you’ll be better prepared to cope with disappointments if they do happen. Don’t dwell too much on things that are out of your control. Instead, focus on the positives.


Give yourself permission to say no to avoid exhaustion.

Filling your schedule can lead to exhaustion. Give yourself permission to say no and allow yourself time to catch your breath. It’s okay to need a day or two to recoup, and rest is a great way to practice self-care. By saying no to some things, you’ll have more energy to really enjoy the things that matter most to you.


Allow yourself to mourn if you need to.

The holidays can be difficult, especially if you’ve lost a loved one and you’re no longer able to celebrate with them. It’s okay to mourn when you need to and remember the good times you shared. If you are coping with grief during the holidays and you need help working through it, speak with a counselor who can help you make sense of your feelings.


Be conscious of your surroundings to maintain sobriety.

If you are trying to maintain sobriety, be careful about attending events where people will be drinking or doing activities you are trying to leave behind. While you might want to have fun and be festive, it’s more important to stay committed to the lifestyle changes you made to achieve sobriety. In the end, you’ll be proud of yourself for prioritizing your health.


While the holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends, remember to keep your mental health and sobriety top of mind and find ways to catch your breath and relax amid the festivities.

If you are struggling to maintain sobriety during the holidays, TTHI Counseling Center can help. Speak with one of our mental health professionals to find out what treatment options for addiction, such as medication assisted treatment, are available near you.

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