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Trauma Recovery During The Holidays: Part Two Set Yourself Up For Success Through Self-Care

In our previous blog on living as a trauma survivor during the holiday season, we discussed the necessity of being present with our trauma as well as our recovery and realizing that even though a holiday celebration is upon us, that does not mean that our traumatic experiences, or our triggers, or our various manifestations of our trauma, take a holiday themselves. Through our trauma recovery, we work hard to identify, learn about, and develop healthy ways to live with our triggers and our reactions to them. The holiday season is, for many people, one of the more challenging times of year to live as a new alumni of trauma treatment and a recovering survivor of trauma.

Too often we look at the holiday season in polar opposite extremes, which is just a symptom of our tendency toward black and white thinking, a common result of experiencing and living through trauma. We see the holidays as being something we have to be fully immersed in and enjoy every perfect present moment, like a protagonist, or, we see the holidays as something to deal with, get through, survive, and not let consume us entirely, like an antagonist. There is neither hero nor villain during the holidays- just more every day life experiences which we show up to live through as fully as we can as survivors living in trauma recovery. We don’t have to make the holidays anything more or anything less than what we are. We just have to keep living and taking care of ourselves. One of the best ways we can take care of ourselves during the holidays is to set ourselves up for success which directly means setting up a routine of self-care

What Does Your Recovery Look Like?

Whatever we are in recovery for, we live for our recovery every day by creating a routine of self-care. Recovery is about habit, routine, and maintaining our motivation to stay sober, abstain from problematic behaviors, and live life fully, as well as safely. Every part of our treatment experience gave us tools for living. We learn how to eat right, exercise regularly, talk to others, reach out for help. We learn how often we need recovery support group meetings, 12-step meetings, to talk to our therapist, to connect with nature, to indulge in art, to interact with animals, or whatever else it is which helps us take care of ourselves.

Our recovery looks the way we need our recovery to look which meets each of our unique, individual needs. Not everyone experiences trauma the same way or reacts to trauma the same way, we learn in treatment. Likewise, not everyone needs the same ind of self-care routine or the same way of doing recovery in their lives. Our recovery looks the way our recovery looks and we learn not to compare our recovery to anyone else’s.

However our recovery looks, we can’t change the way our recovery looks just because of how we think our lives are going to look on a holiday or during a holiday celebration. Recovery becomes a constant in our lives, our anchor to a reality where we are grounded, self-sustaining, and thriving. To let go of our recovery, even for one day, is to throw ourselves to the unpredictable waters of the ocean of life. We keep to our recovery routine, no matter.

Stick To Self-Care

There are always circumstances outside our control which might force us to compromise some of our recovery. If we cannot find a meeting to attend in person, we need to find a meeting online, call into a phone meeting, or phone a friend in recovery who will spend an hour talking to us, like a meeting. If we have circumstances get in the way of our need to balance our food, we do our best to eat healthily with what we are presented. Part of our recovery has been realizing we cannot control everything, but we can show up and plan to cope with everything the best we can.

Planning our self-care for the holidays ahead of time helps us create the space for accountability to our needs. We can chart out meetings, plan phone calls with friends, decide what we will do for physical exercise, make a commitment to our dietary needs, and more. We can journal, bring an instrument, have a comfort item nearby, and bring what we need for self-care in other ways. For example, if we find comfort in a hot bath, we can bring the necessary items. If we find comfort in going for a daily run, we make sure to outline a running route and bring our running shoes. If we find comfort in yoga and meditation, we make sure to practice every day.

The point of maintaining self-care during the holidays is not just to take care of ourselves in the unique way we need to be taken care of, but to make sure we don’t turn the holidays into something they aren’t. Holidays are amazing, stressful, celebratory, moving, and even sometimes annoying. They are, however, just another day in the life of recovery, which means we have to continue our self-care and daily recovery plan like any other day.

When you graduate trauma treatment, the rubber meets the road, as it is said. To live successfully in recovery from trauma, addictions, or related mental health issues, we need the care and professionalism of an experienced, specialized staff who provide us excellence in treatment. Our alumni learn how to thrive in their lives not in spite of trauma, but because of it. We’re always here to welcome those in need of help at The Guest House Ocala. Call us today for information and resources: 1-855-483-7800