It’s normal to have mixed emotions around Valentine’s Day. This holiday can create pressure and unrealistic expectations, whether you’re single or in a relationship. Many people find a romance-based holiday brings an onslaught of negative emotions, like sadness, loneliness, fear, or regret. If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder or you’re new to recovery—and even if you’ve been in recovery for a while—staying sober on Valentine’s Day may be a challenge. At our San Antonio rehab center, our clients know they have a strong, supportive sober community to rely on during Valentine’s Day. Here are some tips and coping mechanisms that can help you get through the day without compromising your recovery. Call 1.844.675.1628 to learn more.
Acknowledge Temptations to Relapse
Whether this is your first Valentine’s Day in addiction recovery or you’ve been sober for years, it’s always smart to know when you may be vulnerable to relapse. Acknowledging these feelings and temptations before they arise helps you to be prepared.
You may be accustomed to drinking on Valentine’s Day, for instance, and the holiday may bring fresh cravings. Your friends or partner may be drinking, or you may want a drink to cope with heavy emotions. If you feel like you want to relapse:
- Remind yourself that you’ve gotten through other tough times without drinking.
- Understand which places and events may trigger you, like a favorite restaurant or bar, and plan to avoid these places.
- Recognize any other triggers that may bother you—such as checking social media or listening to certain songs—so you can avoid or limit your exposure to them.
- Try not to judge yourself for your urges to use substances; urges are a normal part of recovery.
- If you’re spending time with others, you can ask that they pick a sober activity or just let them know you’re in recovery. If necessary, skip parties and events where substances will be present.
- Find a place that feels safe for you or an activity you like.
Use Valentine’s Day in Addiction Recovery to Celebrate Yourself
Getting sober is a huge accomplishment. Staying sober on Valentine’s Day is a major achievement and one you should be proud of. Think of something you want to celebrate on Valentine’s day, whether it’s your recovery progress, your health, another recent accomplishment, or your relationships with friends, family, or a partner.
If you know the day will be difficult, try to carve out some time to do something special for yourself. Think of an activity you enjoy, maybe one you don’t get to do on a regular basis. Your first Valentine’s Day in addiction recovery can be an opportunity to start a new ritual or tradition. For instance, if you discovered a new hobby or passion when you became sober, take some time for it on Valentine’s Day. Or pay a visit to a friend you made in sobriety. If you’re partnered, you and your partner could develop a new tradition together.
Enjoy Fun Sober Activities
One way to avoid triggers is to be proactive about planning how to spend the day. You could come up with a fun activity, like going to the movies or decorating your living space, that will distract you from urges. You may choose to do something that enriches your life in other ways, like volunteering. Other options include:
- Outdoor activities, like hiking or sports
- Trying a new cuisine or restaurant
- Watching a movie
- Cultural activities, like visiting a museum or going to a play
- Cooking a meal you love
- Reconnecting with a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while
Staying sober on Valentine’s Day gives you plenty of choices for relaxation, whether you’re on your own or with a partner.
Build a Sober Community with The Right Step Hill Country
No matter where you are in your recovery journey, The Right Step Hill Country has services to help you feel supported and strong. Residential, outpatient, and aftercare programs all plug you into a growing sober community in Texas. In individual and group sessions, you’ll learn coping techniques to handle life’s challenges without resorting to substances. Make this your best Valentine’s Day yet by calling 1.844.675.1628 or filling out our online form to learn more about our recovery options.