There are many reasons why people can find this time of year difficult, today we are sharing some helpful tips to plan ahead if you feel like Christmas might be tough for you this year, particularly if you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol addiction.

Limit your alcohol exposure – Alcohol consumption is at its highest across the festive period, it can almost seem impossible to avoid it, but if you plan ahead, it can be done! Speak to someone you trust, tell them your concerns, and explain what triggers you. Being honest is nothing to be ashamed of, there is nothing wrong with asking to set healthy boundaries.

Loneliness – Many people will be surrounded by close friends and family this Christmas, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t lonely. Alcoholism by its very nature can be isolating, it can lead to people intentionally withdrawing from others or excluding themselves from specific environments. It’s important to remember that whilst it’s good to keep away from alcohol-related events, loneliness and isolation can also be damaging. Being alone may cause excess reflection that can be challenging. Find an understanding relative, friend or local community group this Christmas to avoid being lonely.

Stick to routine – Yes, Christmas is a special time of year for many of us, but it doesn’t mean that we need to change our routine. If a healthy routine works for you, stick to it. Make a list and plan out your day if you think this would work well for you, starting from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep. It’s good to make a plan B, just in case, to prepare yourself for any uncomfortable situations that you could find yourself in.

Continue your treatment – Support groups will run regularly across the festive period; you should continue to attend your sessions as normal in the build up to Christmas and after.

Continue with your medication – Pharmacies can be closed on certain days over the Christmas period. So, if you take medication, make sure you have enough for the whole period and ensure you are taking the prescribed amounts correctly.

Call us – Don’t feel like you have to suffer in silence, there is always someone to listen to you. If you’re struggling, please call 0121 262 3555 to speak to a trained team of mental health professionals.