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The Counseling Center

Recovery and holidays

Recovery and the Holidays: Pro Tips with David Palumbo

In life and recovery, many times, things don’t always go as we hoped. Being able to see trouble before it happens and being able to adjust your plans to place yourself in the best situation is a must for sustaining recovery.

David Palumbo, Counselor

During the holidays, many people in recovery may have an additional box to unwrap that’s not decorated with pretty paper. Instead, this gift may contain years of memories of times with family and friends that were not so merry and bright.

During early recovery, the holidays can be a rough and emotional time, but you can make it to January with your recovery intact.

You don’t have to let the stressful family dynamics or seasonal depression threaten your progress – not to mention all those holiday parties filled with “socially acceptable” substance abuse.

In a recent conversation, a person in early recovery told me that she dreaded returning home due to the fear of relapse. During the disclosure process, she asked me, “What would you do if you were in my shoes?”

Well… Buckle your seat belt because, in only four tips, I am going to give you the blueprint on how to remain clean during the holidays!

YOUR VIBE ATTRACTS YOUR TRIBE

You will undoubtedly adopt the same concepts with the people you choose to spend your time with.

So why would you not want to hang out with others in recovery?

Your peers WILL influence you. If you choose a tribe that will be a good influence on your recovery, you will benefit. Look for those who will be a blessing to your recovery and impact you to make the right choices.

Youngstown Boy and Ohio State God, himself, Maurice Clarett said it best: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

AUDIBLE, “OMAHA OMAHA”

Quarterback Peyton Manning approaches the line of scrimmage.

Seeing the defense showing blitz before the snap, Manning calls an audible.

“OMAHA, OMAHA,” … and changes the play.

An audible is simply a last-second change to the play that usually occurs when the quarterback determines that the original play call would likely be unsuccessful.

In life and recovery, many times, things don’t always go as we hoped. Being able to see trouble before it happens and being able to adjust your plans to place yourself in the best situation is a must for sustaining recovery.

Know which events are coming up each day and have a game plan for dealing with each of them. Consider skipping an event if the risk is too great.

EDUCATED SITUATIONS

The cognitive-behavioral model describes how people’s perceptions of, or spontaneous thoughts about situations, influence their emotional behaviors.

Building awareness around the potential negative consequences of encountering troubles is a vital part of being in recovery. Before you make a decision, consider the expected consequences of that decision – in the biz, we call in “consequence thinking”.

In layman’s terms, this would mean asking a question such as:

“Hey bro, who will all be there?”

“Where will we be going?”

“Will any drugs or drinking be going on around me?”

Asking these simple questions can give you the ability to make a well informed decision on what to do and what not to do; where to go and where not to go; and potentially save your life.

NANCY REAGAN – “JUST SAY NO”

When having a bad feeling about attending an event or going around specific areas or people.

Sometimes we search for a complicated answer to solve our problem.

BUT in reality – more often than not, a simple & firm “No, I am not going” will prevent us from having issues that jeopardize our recovery.

Trust your gut.

I encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we continue to share our thoughts and practices in the business of Mental Healthcare. If you or someone you love is in need of behavioral treatment of any kind–reach us at 740.354.6685 or 24/7 on the Crisis Hotline 740.354.1010.

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The Counseling Center is the region’s leader in behavioral healthcare. Our licensed behavioral and primary healthcare providers employ advanced treatments to help our patients achieve long-term mental and physical health goals. We are leading the way in shaping positive outcomes for mental health, substance use disorder, physical health, and recovery housing.

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