The holidays are a joyous time for many. But, for young adults struggling with mental health issues like addiction, the holidays can bring about a number of stressors that can lead to unhealthy behaviors. This includes relapsing for young people who are in recovery. So, it’s important for families of young people struggling with addiction to understand and utilize supportive methods in order to help the young people in their lives during the holiday season. Fortunately, there are some specific things that family and loved ones can do to support young people in recovery during the holiday season to provide extra support this time of year.
Some ways you can help a young person who’s in recovery during this holiday season include:
One great way to focus on recovery is to provide yourself with a number of things to take your mind off of cravings. Distracting yourself can help you focus on things that are more positive and give your mind something to think about besides the cravings you’re experiencing or negative thoughts that can lead to harmful thinking. So, if you’re wanting to provide your young adult loved one with recovery support, helping them start a new tradition for the holidays can provide the distractions they need to fix their mind on things that are positive. Some examples of new traditions can include beginning a new exercise class, visiting a state park or nature reserve, and volunteering to help the less fortunate.
Triggers are situations, people, and things that can lead a person in recovery to start thinking about using again. Triggers can provoke unwanted feelings and thoughts. It’s important to understand triggers as a person in recovery so they can be avoided. And, if unavoidable, it’s helpful to know what to do when a person in recovery is faced with a trigger. As a loved one of a young adult in recovery, it can also be helpful to understand your loved one’s triggers. And, discuss these with them during the holiday season. This way, you can provide support to your loved one if a trigger is unavoidable and determine what to do in these situations. Additionally, you can help your loved one schedule their holidays so that triggers can be avoided if at all possible.
People in recovery need to be surrounded by those who completely support their recovery. Supporting recovery for a loved one comes in many different shapes and forms. But, perhaps the most important form of support is by modeling behaviors that your loved one in recovery needs to follow. This includes not partaking in any drugs or alcohol yourself. So, this holiday season, if you’re looking to support your loved one who’s a young adult in recovery, make sure that you steer clear of the spiked punch bowl.
Finally, the best thing a loved one can do during the holidays to support a young adult struggling with addiction and in recovery is to know when to get professional help. Help is necessary when a young adult experiences relapse. This can include even thinking about relapsing as this is the first stage of the relapse process. If you notice that your loved one needs professional assistance, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional mental health treatment facility like Yellowbrick. This way, your loved one can get the help they need this holiday season.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.