recovering addict holding a Christmas ornament

Meditation as a Recovery Tool During Christmas

By Tori Utley is an entrepreneur working jointly in technology innovation and addiction recovery, holding her license as an alcohol and drug counselor (LADC) in Minnesota.

Sober Recovery Expert Author

recovering addict holding a Christmas ornament

When it comes to staying sober over the Christmas holiday, it might feel a little nerve-wracking especially if you're in early recovery. So how can you go into the merry-making season confidently?

You need tools in your toolkit.

During the Christmas whirlwind, here's how to create a meditation practice that works for you and keeps your recovery strong.

The recovery toolkit doesn't have to be an abstract concept. Take meditation, for example. According to Mayo Clinic, meditation can help you find a sense of calm, peace and balance, that not only helps you emotionally but your health overall. It is an easy and actionable way to boost your recovery during challenging periods.

This holiday season, start your meditation practice and use it as a powerful recovery tool to keep you sober. Here are a few ways to being:

Join a class.

If you want to start meditating but aren't sure how to, consider joining a class. Call your local yoga studio, recreation center or wellness center to learn if there are any classes in your area. You might even luck out if you find a studio running a holiday special or community meditation over the holidays. Classes aren't too long, so you can fit in a group meditation when it works for you—and you might meet some new friends, too.

Download free meditation apps.

If you can't join a class—or you're looking for help on a daily basis—try downloading a free meditation app like Calm, Headspace or Zen, to get you started. You can meditate anywhere from 3 minutes to an hour…and sometimes more. These apps will let you select why you're meditating, the length you want, and will teach you the basics. Using an app will allow you to meditate anytime, anywhere during the holidays. Just grab 10 minutes before you leave for a gathering, or any time you're able to sneak away for a little serenity break.

Be aware.

Mindfulness is a practice you can start easily—anytime and anywhere. Mindfulness is simply being aware. Aware of how you feel, where you are, any emotions that are coming up or any physical pain you're having. If you start to feel like you're getting ahead of yourself this holiday season, just take a quick pause—even just for 30 seconds or 1 minute—and be aware of where you are, how you're feeling, and what you need. It's that simple.

Learn on the go.

The best part about meditation is its portability. You don't need to be a member of a gym, you don't need equipment and you don't need a special room to meditate. All you need is you and a little bit of time. As you continue growing your meditation practice and incorporate it into the holiday season, try meditating in different places. At home, in the car, or even at your in-law's house before Christmas dinner.

Make it a priority.

You get better at meditation the more you meditate, so you have to take the time to prioritize it. Instead of hitting snooze for 10 minutes while you have some extra time this holiday season, get up on time, and take the 10 minutes you would have been sleeping and use it for meditation. Especially during the holidays, meditation will help keep you centered, focused and refreshed. This mindset will help your recovery, equipping you with coping strategies you need to stay sober.

This Christmas, stay centered, and use meditation to help get you there. It will help you find calm during a time of year that can bring difficult emotions and triggering situations. Better yet, it's a practice you can use all year round.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-891-8171 to speak to a treatment specialist.

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