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Recovery is all about changing your life and bringing in new, healthier habits. The festive season is a perfect opportunity to do this, and to start new, healthier habits. You’ve spent time identifying your triggers and how to cope with them. You’ve also spent time thinking about the high-risk situations that might come up during this time of year, and hopefully you’ve made decisions to avoid these situations. But what now? What will you do with the free time that was previously taken up with the obsessive or addictive behaviours?

Well, you have a wonderful opportunity to start new, healthier, traditions!

Take a look around you and identify those people who are supportive in your recovery. These are the people you should be bringing into your inner circle. Make plans to spend time with them. Have meals together, play games together, or start an exercise programme with them. Try to engage in activity that doesn’t remind you of the alcohol or drug use; I’m sure you’ll agree that these are high-risk situations. If you are honest with yourself, there are things you did before that didn’t involve drugs or alcohol that you enjoyed doing… What were these? Why did you stop doing them? Maybe it’s time to revive some of these things OR better yet, maybe it’s time to find some new ones.

Spending time planning and engaging in these ‘sober’ activities will help you spend the down time productively, and by this I mean they are productive for your recovery. Doing this will also go a long way to helping you deal with boredom. Be pro-active in your recovery and makes plans now!

Taking part in these new traditions can also help keep your stress in check! Come back next week when we will be discussing how stress is dangerous over this period, particularly for your recovery.