Saying No This Holiday Season

a woman smiles as she practices saying no this holiday season


saying noThe holiday season is here and it’s the perfect time to step back and think about what you can realistically accomplish this year and what will (or won’t) add to your recovery and overall joy and happiness.

And that likely means learning to say “no.” It won’t be easy, but it’s an important recovery lesson. You could even say that your long-term sobriety depends on it – saying no to just one drink, to that party that might serve as a trigger, to that work project that could cause burnout  – and the list can go on.

Saying “yes” can be dangerous when your heart isn’t behind it – like when you’re just saying the words because you’re afraid to let someone down or, similarly, because you think it will please someone else. Saying no isn’t selfish, especially if it’s deliberate and the intention is to safeguard your health, sobriety and sanity this season.

Similarly, experts say that learning to say “maybe” can be smart, too. This allows you to leave a window open if you decide later that you’re up to the task or, conversely, you realize that you just can’t handle it at this point of your recovery. For example:

  • “Maybe I’ll visit a family member, but only if he/she respects my sobriety.“
  • “Maybe I’ll go to a holiday party, but only if I’m ready in my recovery. And only after I come up with an exit strategy.”
  • “Maybe I’ll attend my work holiday party, but only if it doesn’t jeopardize my sobriety.”

Whether  you say “yes,” “no” or “maybe,” the key is to first ask yourself this: “What do I really want out of the holidays?” Certainly, stress or relapse aren’t the answers. Peace, sobriety, joy, balance, time with loved ones, however, are all wonderful things to say “yes” to this season.

Happy holidays to you and your family!

Healthy Recovery Tools Year-Round
At Providence, we offer clients an Aftercare Integration Program (AIS) designed to give them the tools to manage stress, time, and more as they return to their careers. To find out more, call today: 888-373-9844.


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