For staff at the Broward Addiction Recovery Center (BARC), Thanksgiving through New Years can be a time of concern, especially for individuals who are dealing with recovery issues.
For those in recovery or who have successfully completed recovery, BARC staff offers the following suggestions to cope with the holiday season:
- Stay close to the program. This is no time to skip meetings.
- Be proactive. Create little rituals and gatherings of your own with friends.
- Manage stresses. Everything gets blown out of proportion when we're stressed out. Get enough rest, sleep and down time.
- Keep exercising: It's calming.
- Shop ahead. This will lessen your feeling of burden and stress.
- Enjoy holiday food, but don't go crazy. Savor your favorite treats but don't eat in a way you will regret later. More isn't necessarily better.
- Limit your time. At any events that concern you, stay in a hotel and take a friend to check out meetings in that area.
- Stay in the present. Allow things to be just what they are at any given moment; stay out of past issues. It's not a good time for "getting into it."
- Keep expectations realistic. Keep it simple.
- Enjoy the little things this season. The holiday season is filled with quiet moments of pleasure like street music and decorations, good smells and warm wishes. Enjoy them within yourself.
- Be open to healing. Sometimes just gathering and affirming the bonds of life and love can bring up pain that needs to be felt and healed. If that comes up just let it be, let it be felt, witnessed and released.
BARC is a substance abuse assessment and treatment provider, serving adult Broward County residents. BARC provides a continuum of alcohol and substance abuse services on a sliding fee scale. Services at BARC include assessments, a medically supervised detoxification unit, residential and outpatient treatment.
For anyone feeling the need to speak with a BARC representative during the holidays, you can call 954-357-4880. Other support services in the community, such as the Alcoholics Anonymous Hotline, are also available, and can be reached at 954-462-7202 or 954-462-0625.