Dealing with Holiday Stress with AA Slogans

Mantras to help you stay sober

The festive season is approaching. It’s time for fun, celebrations and drinking. However, for recovering alcoholics and addicts, it is a time to stay vigilant and focus your mind on your mental health, happiness, and sobriety.

Are you Trying to Stay Sober This Festive Season? 

These phrases will help you do your best. However, for people who are new to recovery or AA, the holiday season can be highly stressful. It could be the first time you’ve seen extended family since getting sober. It could be your first encounter with alcohol or other drugs in “the real world,” and you don’t have a sober support system to help you. Perhaps this is the first time you’ve experienced family conflict or dysfunction since getting sober.

Everything will be alright. Your arrival on this page is not by chance; you are aware that the holidays may pose a threat to your sobriety, and you are concerned enough to devise a plan to protect your sobriety.

That’s a great start. If you keep your heart and mind in the right place and continue to “do the next right thing,” your sobriety should be secure this holiday season.

The holidays will still be stressful. That applies to everyone, not just those new to recovery or AA. That’s why you need a few simple AA slogans to guide your heart and mind and keep you not only sober but also happy and calm.

How Do Slogans Work?

“How do AA slogans help during the holidays?” or “How can slogans possibly keep me sober?” you may be wondering.

The short answer is that these AA slogans will direct your energy towards positive thoughts and behaviours. Rather than succumbing to fear, negativity, or blame, you can control your reaction to holiday and family stress—and even rewire your brain.

If you are unable to attend an AA meeting or another support group, you can recite these slogans as a mantra to focus your mind on your mental health and happiness, as well as your sobriety.

Here Are Seven of Our favourite AA Holiday Slogans

Have we persuaded you to try some AA slogans this holiday season? Here are seven slogans we like to recite whenever holiday stress becomes unbearable to help us centre ourselves on the principles of a good recovery.

Easy Does It

Happiness, like recovery, is not a race. Any attempts to hack or crack them are likely to backfire. Happiness is attained as a complement to other sensations and feelings of fulfilment rather than as an end in itself. Recovery is similar, and attempting to speed-run it will get you nowhere fast.

Take it easy. Take care of yourself and your health. Be mindful and present, and find a physical or mental space to draw calm energy. You’re on a long road to happiness and fulfilment; take it slowly, or you’ll never get there.

First Things First

Some priorities change over time, but your sobriety should always be number one. This holiday season, you may be tempted to shift your priorities, preferring to complete your shopping list or spend time with family. That’s perfectly fine, but your recovery must come first. Remember that “whatever you put before your sobriety, you are likely to lose.”

Bring a list of self-care techniques that will help you re-invest in long-term sobriety if you want to balance all of your priorities and have an excellent sober holiday. Then, at any cost, practise them regularly and whenever needed.

Let Live and Let Live

What a wonderful reminder that we all do things differently, and that’s perfectly fine. Perhaps your uncle irritates you, or your parents have holiday expectations or traditions that drive you insane. Allow people to live their lives. Everyone has their own set of priorities, and everyone tries to meet their needs. There’s nothing wrong with that if your sobriety isn’t jeopardised.

Set boundaries as needed, then tend to your garden while others tend to theirs.

Keep It Simple, Stupid

Try to keep things simple this holiday season. You can’t do it all, and you can’t live up to everyone’s expectations (without jeopardising your mental health). Rather than trying to do everything, simplify your sober holidays by focusing on a few things that are truly important to you and fully participating in them. When things become too much, reduce your schedule, simplify your itinerary, and attend a meeting. 

Beautiful holidays do not have to be complicated.

Take What You Like And Leave The Rest

Remember that recovery gives you the ability to choose calmly. You can slow down and decide how you spend your time, energy, and money. You can embrace whatever holiday traditions you enjoy and celebrate whatever relationships you value the most. These are the things to fill your recovery with, and these are the bonds that will keep you sober. 

This Too Shall Pass

Whether you are sober and in recovery or not, the holidays can be challenging. There is nothing wrong with having a difficult time. Acceptance is always the first step. Then, do everything you can to protect your sobriety, such as attending extra meetings, making time for sober friends, and committing to regular prayer or meditation. And don’t forget to consult your therapist if things get too challenging.

Recovery includes both good and bad days, and how you deal with the lows without turning to alcohol or other drugs is an essential part of the process. You can deal with these emotions while sober, and you can rest assured that “this too shall pass.”

Keep Coming Back

Family conflict and holiday stress can elicit unpleasant emotions, causing old patterns to bubble to the surface. Attend a meeting if you notice yourself sinking into self-pity, fear, or resentment. You are not alone in experiencing these emotions. The halls of AA and other support groups will be packed with familiar faces, and there will be plenty of recovering people with addiction navigating the holidays together.

Keep returning. You can rely on your community to have your back, to love you unconditionally, and to assist you in getting through the holidays unscathed.

Happy holidays!

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call Freephone at 0800 140 4044

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