Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and the Pandemic. Overwhelmed? Yes, absolutely. It’s all just too much on some days, even if you are not struggling with substance abuse. Consider someone already struggling with overcoming addiction and finding or maintaining sobriety.
How are those who are struggling with addiction doing overcoming an addiction during the holidays and a pandemic?
Some halfway houses have worked hard to keep their doors open, while some have added virtual meetings. Some halfway houses have added restrictions limiting guests or outside trips to help minimize exposures to COVID19 or reduce their patient capacity. Tragically, some halfway houses had to close their doors because of the pandemic.
The pandemic has caused disconnection and isolation among most of us. It is exacerbated among those already struggling with addiction, which is frequently referred to as a disease of isolation. The pandemic has forced more people to live lonely lives, and unfortunately, more are turning to drugs and alcohol to attempt to manage their stress.
Studies have shown an alarming acceleration of opioid fatal overdoses in the last year and that binge drinking has increased during the pandemic.
4 Tips to Manage It All
- Connect: We need connection throughout life, through the best of times and worst. We want to celebrate and grieve together. People need each other to heal and grow. But, unfortunately, the pandemic works against this natural healing process of humans helping each other. Halfway houses promote a community and social setting where people struggling with addictions can understand each other, share stories, and begin to heal. While congregate living in a halfway house has risks, responsibilities, it provides services to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with addictions and their friends and families. In addition, halfway houses provide an opportunity to connect while maintaining sobriety.
- Say NO: You’re already saying no to the substances and rebuilding a life without them. Manage your Thanksgiving the way that is best for you. Offer an apology if you feel it is necessary. Do what is best for you on the Thanksgiving holiday. If you don’t want to go shopping on Black Friday or support local with Small Business Saturday, it is okay to say no. Choose the activities you want to be involved in and allow yourself permission to say no. This year, it needs to be all about you.
- Say YES: Say YES to the people that will support and respect you. Say YES to any events you WANT to be involved in that are substance and alcohol-free so you can more easily maintain your hard work of overcoming drug abuse. It’s time to provide yourself with the best self-care you’ve ever done before in your life.
- Follow the Rules of the Halfway House: No matter what you’re doing or how stressed you are during Thanksgiving and the rest of the upcoming holidays. It is important for your success to remember to follow the rules of the halfway house.
If you are not already residing in a Halfway house to get the help and support you need, consider finding a halfway house near you. A halfway house will put a support team around you that can help you overcome this battle, even during a pandemic and Thanksgiving when getting together with friends and family can cause you more stress than you can handle.