The beginning of a new year can bring lots of different emotions. On the one hand, there are feelings of excitement and the motivation to begin goal setting in the weeks ahead. Many also use this time to reflect on the triumphs (and tribulations) of the past 365 days. For some January can bring a period of sadness as well, as people look inward and see themselves in a place where they may not want to be. Our advice is to listen to all of these feelings and embrace them (including the sad ones). Yes, you can choose to make a positive change any day of your life. But why not take the opportunity now?
One of the reasons we see a rise in addiction recovery applicants in January has to do with the excesses from the previous month. December is often filled with alcohol-laden holiday events and, for many, New Year’s Eve brings about serious temptations (with wild parties that run into the wee hours of the morning). What tends to happen is people find themselves facing a “Wake Up Call” on January 1st, regretting their behaviors and unhealthy lifestyle.
Another reason the holiday season drives people to use has to do with depression. If you were far from your family during this special time of year, alcohol or drugs can be seen as a “coping mechanism.” People also face grief over lost loved ones or perhaps frustration with a work layoff or bad annual review. Though it’s labeled the “happiest time of the year,” you would be surprised to see how many addictive tendencies can rear their ugly heads.
So even though “New Year’s Resolutions” may seem cliche to many, we believe wholeheartedly in embracing them and taking time (particularly when work offices are closed) to draw out a clear action plan for 2018. Health and sobriety are so important, so why not use this opportunity to make a clean break?
A big starting point could be taking an old fashioned pen and paper, then drawing up a list. Set specific goals, but make them realistic and achievable. You don’t need to tell yourself “I’m going to be sober by February 1,” but you could say I will reach out to at least one treatment center by that point.
Here are a few achievable goals you that we think can help your list for the new year…
1) I Will Take At Least 30 Minutes A Week To Meditate. Meditation and mind/body healing are essential components of our recovery regimen and you would be amazed to see how successful they can be in a treatment regimen. Even if you don’t take the step of entering recovery this month, try (on your own time) to set aside brief weekly moments to focus inward.
2) I Will Reach Out To One Friend About My Sobriety Goals. Friends and loved ones are so important on the road to recovery. So our advice is to make a call to at least one trusted confidant this month for an honest conversation about your health and well being.
3) I Will Explore What Sobriety Options Are Available To Me. Committing and exploring are two very different things. Taking the step of admitting yourself into a recovery facility can be daunting and challenging. That is something we know. A much more attainable goal this month would be to at least explore a few options. Google treatment centers in your area and learn about the ways they can help you get clean. Then, in time, you can hopefully connect with a trustworthy, comfortable clinic and take that crucial next step.