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Concerned about a loved one? 5 ways to provide them support over the holidays

By Comments off By the Numbers: Concerned about a loved one? 5 ways to provide them support over the holidays

The holidays can be stressful for everyone. The stress can be elevated if you have a family member or friend who is in recovery, whether long-term or more recent, and especially if the behavioral issue is ongoing. In this final blog in our three-part series about how to manage holiday stress, we’ll share five tips to provide support over the holidays for a loved one who is using or in recovery.

Tips for supporting your loved one this holiday season:

1. If you are hosting, set expectations beforehand. You have the right to set the boundaries in your own home, and not cede to the person to please him or her.

2. If your family member or friend is in recovery—long term or more recent—have a conversation with them about their comfort level with having alcohol at the event. Talking with them directly is best rather than making the decision for them. More information can be found here.

3. If you know someone will be coming to your home and might drink excessively, you can choose to do a non-alcoholic event. Even if someone is not an alcoholic, the holidays are a time when people binge drink most often, so setting this ahead of time might be a good decision for more than just one person.

4. Emphasize safety for everyone. Choosing not to have alcohol or other substances at an event, or holding everyone’s car keys, will have everyone on equal ground rather than possibly shaming the problem drinker who is coming over.

5. If you think your loved one needs help or treatment, a holiday dinner is probably not the best event to start the conversation with them—it could feel like an ambush and it could also derail the holiday for other family members. If you are concerned and want some guidance, feel free to reach out to us for language to start these conversations.

Remember to take care of yourself

While navigating celebrations with friends or family who could be struggling with their use or recovery, it’s key to keep your own self-care at the top of your list. Check out our earlier blogs in this series on minimizing family drama and reducing your own holiday stress. No matter how hard you try to make the celebration good for all, make sure it stays within your value system and boundaries.

We are here to help, so please reach out anytime for a complimentary consultation.