For anyone struggling with mental health or addiction issues, the holidays can be a trying time. Christmas and New Years are both common times for people to relapse. It makes sense! Holidays can be both triggering and tempting for people who are in recovery. People drink a lot more during this season, and there’s also a lot of added stress.

If you’re in recovery and you’re worried about confronting the holiday season, you’re never alone. Here is a list of resources to help you in the coming days:

  1. If you’re depressed or feel like hurting yourself, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline. A lot of people try to mask their depression only to have it creep up and take over during the holidays. You can get through this. You’re worthy, and you’re not alone. Give yourself a chance. Call 1-800-273-8255.
  2. Go to an AA or NA meeting. During the holidays there are often special meetings, and sober clubs usually stay open for 24 hours. If you don’t know what to do, GO! Don’t stop on your way there.
  3. If you can’t get to a physical meeting, there are AA meetings that meet online every day of the week. All you need is a computer and, in some cases, a webcam. Check the schedule here and find an online meeting.
  4. Do a text buddy system when you’re stressed. Stay in touch with a sober friend or your sponsor if you are worried about a party or family obligations. Let them know if you feel like using.
  5. It’s okay to leave. People leave parties and events early all the time. You can even tell a white lie, such as, “I’m not feeling well.”

Staying sober isn’t always easy, but many people find that with extra support during the holidays, they can make it through the stresses. If you’re not sure what to do during the holidays, and you don’t want to spend time with people who trigger you, let people in your recovery network know you need plans. You can plan to meet up with others after your holiday plans or instead of them.

These are just a few suggestions for the upcoming holiday. Ask others in your network if they know of additional resources.