Substance Abuse Tips for Father’s Day

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Substance abuse is difficult even if you aren’t using any more.   Many people in recovery face ever challenges during various holidays around the year. While holidays may certainly be joyous times, they also may be times of elevated emotions, stress, loneliness and painful remembrances of holidays past. Maintain a strong recovery from substance abuse this Father’s Day by incorporating these helpful tips.

Substance Abuse Tip: Avoid Situations Involving Alcohol.

If at all possible, choose to avoid or remove yourself from situations and environments that involve alcohol or will very likely involve alcohol.

Substance Abuse Tip: Avoid High Risk Situations.

Exposing yourself to powerful triggers can set off a chain of underlying emotions that can lead to relapse – if even in a future point in time in the near future. Take care to mind your relapse prevention strategies in order to avoid endangering your recovery.

Substance Abuse Tip: Go to Meetings.

Spend Father’s Day weekend attending several support group meetings. Take the time to get valuable support from others and have the chance to speak about your concerns and feelings during the holiday. You can hear feedback from others about their own experiences for the holiday and realize you are not alone and that while holidays certainly are challenging, you can pass through the time still stable and secure in recovery.

Substance Abuse Tip: Manage Stress.

Utilize stress management techniques to keep stress levels to a minimum during this challenging period of time. Stress is a major trigger for substance abuse but there are many ways to work on managing stress. Here are a few ideas: go for a nice jog or run (exercise is great for stress management), practice a yoga session, use breathing exercises or meditation, do the things that you love.

Substance Abuse Tip: Center the Holiday around the Kids

If you are a parent or even a brother or uncle, spend quality time with your family and make a point of putting a focus on the children of the family. Try to take the focus off of your thoughts and put your energy into making wonderful family moments.

Substance Abuse Tip: See Your Sponsor.

Call your sponsor and agree to meet up this Father’s Day weekend if it may be arranged. The additional support can do you well and help brighten the holiday weekend. If you cannot meet face-to-face, speak on the phone or even have a Skype phone call to connect and discuss your recovery.

Substance Abuse Tip: Set Realistic Expectations.

Whether this is your first Father’s Day in Recovery or your 20th, you may not get the reaction from friends and family you are looking for. That is ok.  Remember that substance abuse affects more than just the individual using drugs or alcohol- it impacts the entire family.  Set realistic expectations for yourself and others so that you aren’t disappointed.  Don’t expect things to be 100% perfect  – instead expect and celebrate small victories that help put you and your family on the path to healing.