How to Enjoy the Holidays in Recovery

Below are some tips and words of encouragement from some of our alumni. Sierra Tucson Alumni Relations wishes you a healthy and happy holiday season. We Support You!

“My recipe for success during the holiday season includes meetings, meetings, and more meetings—especially extra Al-Anon meetings. Additionally, by using prayer and meditation, I’m better able to stay centered. I do make a plan when attending events. For me, my food plan is very important so I either eat before or bring my own, depending on the location. When offered so-called “goodies,” I respond with “Thank you for thinking of me… maybe later” or “Looks wonderful, but I’m too full!” At this time of year, with all the activities where it appears people are eating more, spending more, drinking more, stressing more, etc., Al-Anon meetings help me keep the focus on me. And, when I visit my family I keep it brief and kind (meaning I leave when I’ve had enough). Don’t get me wrong, I love them. I just want to be around people where I can be real and connect emotionally. So, to meetings I go!”
Peggy B.


“Last year the holidays were the beginning of a deep, dark slide for me. It ended with me going to Sierra Tucson in June. Thank God I got there because it saved my life. This year I plan on practicing a lot of self-care during this time: spending fun time with my kids, seeing my therapist more, and going out with friends. I’m also learning my limitations and I’ll remove myself when the crowd gets too big or I start feeling uncomfortable in any way.”
Devora H.


“During the holidays I have to make myself so much more self-aware. Physically, emotionally, mentally, I have to ‘check in’ with myself every couple of hours during the high-stress times. I have to take care of me during the holidays so I can be around to take care of them (kids) the rest of my life!”
Lisa G.


“I will be mindful about my thoughts, actions, and emotions during the holiday season, because these three things are all that I can control. My mindfulness will help me treat others with respect and humility regardless of their behavior, and allow me to relinquish my attempt to control situations that would be best left alone.”
Scott W.


“I will best serve myself and others by caring equally for my body, mind, and spirit. I will remind myself that exercise is conveniently available outside my door in a brisk walk or a short trip to the gym. I lift my spirits the most when I am of service to others, especially through recovery work with others.”
Liz P.


“At this time of year, I will choose to do nothing different than what has gotten me here. I will continue to work on myself – through Step work, personal exploration, and active participation in recovery. I will seek opportunities to be of service as my life enlarges as a result. I will pray for courage to do the right thing and be shown the path that God would have me take. I will surrender and forego the temptation to take back control. I will avail myself of the few seconds of contemplation before embarking on an action that may feel justified in the moment, but that experience has demonstrated may cause long-term pain. I will accept responsibility when to do so is the right thing. I will stay engaged and connected. Today, I am committed to my sobriety and to my recovery. Life is too short to have it any other way.”
Brent B.


“To battle the winter and holiday blues, I’ve finally begun incorporating yoga back into my life. It’s really helping with feeling overwhelmed, overrun, tired, and down. Of course, it should not be any revelation to me that an exercise that gets my body and breath going would be so helpful, but there seems to always be that gap between what we know and what we do.”
Dennis C.


“The holidays can be a tough time. I suffer from a disease of loneliness and can experience it whether I’m around loads of people or by myself. I have to remember: this is a ‘we’ program and to reach out for support.”
Nancy S.


“Remember H.A.L.T. – never get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Help others always and remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect – just do your best.”
Rae T.


“I plan on trying to come from my heart and not my head, and communicating love through gestures of love.”
Bryan F.


“The holidays always seem to bring some nervous anticipation to me. I work the holidays on a day-to-day basis. I attend more meetings during this time. They help ground me. If I attend a party, I arrive early, leave early, always have my own car, and make sure no one can block me in. I feel strong in ‘showing up’ and even stronger when I leave as people start to get ugly. I get outside for a hike every day to calm myself and be able to think. I spend a lot of time taking care of me, checking in with myself, and staying on the right path. I don’t schedule too many things for my family and myself. I make sure that I have a lot of quiet time to recharge. I stay away from unsafe places and people. I try to quiet the ‘committee’ that chatters in my head.”
Denise S.


“I’ve have discovered in recent years that to survive the holidays, I need to think of ways that I can give instead of receive. If I enter into the mindset of ‘Did I get what I wanted?’ then I’ll be sorely disappointed. Alternatively, I have found that when I am of service to my loved ones, my holidays usually turn out bright.”
Matthew P.


“Spend some extra time with friends from my group therapy and really try to get to know them better. Be grateful every day and never forget how lucky I was to be able to go to Sierra Tucson.”
Tim S.