Renaissance Ranch

How to Manage Holiday Blues in Addiction Recovery

Dec 25, 2023

The holiday season can be an enjoyable time to gather with friends and family. However, for individuals in addiction recovery, the holiday season may present some additional challenges, such as increased anxiety or depression. We understand there can be an expectation that during this time of year, you may believe you should feel good. For many people, this is not always the case. If you are experiencing an increase in depression symptoms, you are not alone and there is help available. There are multiple ways you can manage holiday blues and find added support. 

Reasons for Needing to Manage Holiday Blues in Recovery

Your recovery from addiction is crucial to your overall quality of life and well-being. We believe you can recover. However, it is important to know this does not mean you will never have difficult days. The holiday season can be difficult for many people for various reasons. It is also not uncommon to notice an uptick in depression symptoms. For individuals in addiction recovery, an increase in depression symptoms can be vital to address. Holiday blues may not sound serious, because although different from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it could still put your sobriety at risk.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says the holiday blues are specifically brought on by stresses at certain times of the year. Without managing these increased stresses the holidays bring on, you may be risking your recovery. The holiday season can also cause increased depression symptoms for many people. Managing holiday blues can be approached in different ways. Sometimes checking in with your therapist may be a good option if they can be available to you. In the case your therapist is not available, utilizing skills you’ve learned can be beneficial. If your treatment is faith-based as it will be at Renaissance Ranch, you may find prayer or personal meditation comforting. 

To reiterate, it can be crucial that you manage holiday blues, and you are not alone. Try to remember that trying to mask or power through any increased depression can be harmful. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, and work through them with support. Staying stuck in depression can also be harmful. We know no one wants to feel depressed; there are a variety of tips we can recommend for you to try incorporating into managing holiday blues as well.  

Additional Tips to Manage Holiday Blues

When you make the brave decision to recover from addiction, you are likely committing to making many other life changes to support your sobriety. One of these changes could include who you interact with in life to protect your sobriety. Another change could be to your environment or living situation. The holiday blues could certainly relate to reflecting on your life before recovery. One tip you may want to consider could include shifting your perspective. We all make mistakes, and now with support and treatment, you have the opportunity to turn your life around. Another tip to manage holiday blues could be to try practicing grounding and gratitude. Try to remember why you are working so hard for your recovery. Also, take time to reflect and appreciate where you are now because of your recovery. 

Sometimes what we need to get out of the holiday blues can be to try activities that are out of our comfort zone. Other times, what you may need is comfort. Especially if you are spending the holiday season away from home, you could put on some festive music, and search the internet for a fun craft to make. A cozy evening spent watching movies while eating comfort foods could also be another way to get out of a negative head space. 

Support During the Holiday Season

Public Health Reports published an article on November 1, 2013, which concluded that the holiday season increases stress for about 10% of people. We know that stress can affect the body negatively in multiple ways, leading to a weakened immune system and illnesses. Struggling with stress in recovery from addiction, like depression, could put your recovery at risk. Addressing these issues with a good support system is important.

Renaissance Ranch is a treatment center equipped to help men heal from addiction and can be that source of support. We help empower the men we treat with spiritual-based treatment. The combination of spirituality and different types of therapy has beneficial outcomes. We can support you with medically assisted detox, residential, outpatient, and sober living. You will have our full support and increased odds at long-term recovery as you heal and work the program. Recovery does not stop for the holiday season. The holiday blues can be difficult to tackle alone, so we want to be there with you to help you through.

We know managing holiday blues can be vital to protecting your recovery from addiction. We understand the holiday season may burden you with an expectation that you are supposed to feel good, but this is not always the case. Learning how to address an uptick in added stress or emotional distress you feel due to the holiday season can be important to staying sober. There are several ways you can approach the situational increased depression symptoms. We can be a safe space of added support for you as you heal from addiction. Please call (801) 308-8898 for more details on how we can support you through the holiday season today.