All holidays can be a stressful time for most people, but most especially for people who have just completed addiction treatment and are recently sober. Holidays can be triggering as it is very common to be at places or attend events where people are drinking to celebrate. Valentine’s may be particularly difficult, especially for people who are single and may feel lonely on that day. That is why patients need to put together a relapse prevention plan to help them cope with any triggers they may encounter.
At The Bluffs, we understand that addiction treatment doesn’t stop after detox and recovery. Addiction is a lifelong condition, and relapse is always a possibility. Our relapse prevention therapy aims to teach patients healthy coping skills and to transform negative thought patterns in order to maintain long-term abstinence. If you are looking for support for the various stages of addiction recovery, contact us at 850.374.5331 to learn about what we can offer.
Create a Relapse Prevention Plan
The best way to ensure a sober Valentine’s Day is to put together a relapse prevention plan. Valentine’s Day may be triggering for those who are single and might feel especially lonely. Similarly, for those in a relationship, wine or champagne may have been the norm and now they may be unsure of how to celebrate without alcohol. Anticipating these triggers and putting together a plan to address them will go a long way toward ensuring that they can get through the holiday without having a relapse.
To create a relapse prevention plan, the following steps are essential:
- Self-assessment and reflection – One must put together an honest review of their addiction, including their previous motivations for resorting to substance use. If a return to use has happened before, it is also important to assess what led to that in the past.
- Recognizing triggers and warning signs – Once the self-assessment is done, a list can be made of past triggers and any warning signs that led up to the relapse. Triggers can be avoided as much as possible. Recognizing warning signs can help alert the patient to the situation and they can respond accordingly.
- Make a plan – In some situations, avoiding triggers is just not possible. In these cases, put together a plan for how to get over these triggers without resorting to substance use. It is also important to make a plan for the worst-case scenario of a relapse actually occurring, like who to contact or where to bring the patient.
- Seek support from others – If the patient is celebrating with a loved one, they should be made aware of the patient’s recent sobriety. Otherwise, they should tell their support group that the upcoming holiday may be a trying time for the patient.
How To Have a Sober Valentine’s Day
Once the patient has a relapse prevention plan in place, they can plan activities for Valentine’s Day that ensures they can have a good time while staying away from triggers. Here are a few suggestions of what to do so that they can celebrate a sober Valentine’s Day:
- Try something new – Valentine’s Day can be a good excuse for patients to try a new activity with their friends and loved ones. It can be trying out a new sport, trying out a new restaurant, or going someplace new. Just be sure that the activity would not have drinks available in order to avoid unnecessary triggers.
- Plan an activity at home – Try cooking a romantic dinner at home or hosting a game night with friends. If staying indoors will be the least stressful option, it can still be a special occasion.
- Have a self-care day – Spending Valentine’s Day alone doesn’t need to be sad or lonely. Line up self-pampering activities like a massage or a spa day to make sure that the day can be enjoyable and relaxing.
- Do a social media blackout – A lot of people on social media will be posting celebrations which may not be sober. This may be triggering for some and it would be best to avoid it on a day they may feel vulnerable.
- Reach out to people – Friends may be up for spending time together on Valentine’s Day. Some may even be grateful for the company.
Turn to The Bluffs for Addiction Treatment in Sherrodsville
Here at The Bluffs, we provide the right amount of support and guidance for every stage of addiction treatment. Our experienced, compassionate staff is committed to ensuring genuine recovery and lifelong sobriety. Contact us at 850.374.5331 today so we can work on a healthier future together.