Thanksgiving in Recovery: Staying Connected


Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which marks the beginning of the holiday season. This time of year can be taxing for men and women in recovery for a number of reasons. Stress can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression; it’s crucial to cope with unwanted feelings and emotions in a healthy way. 


Many people in recovery need to double down on the program between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Most individuals associate holidays with alcohol use, and it’s critical to do everything in one’s power to abstain. One must be mindful of their relapse triggers and avoid situations that might be an impetus for drinking or using. 


The 2020 holiday season is going to be different for tens of millions of Americans due to COVID-19. Public health agency guidelines recommend that every American stay at home this Thanksgiving—celebrating the holiday only with people in one’s household. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions against traveling or avoiding gatherings with people who do not live with you. 


If you have plans to spend the holiday with individuals you do not live with, the CDC recommends that you wear a mask and, if you can, bring your own food and utensils. It’s also vital to practice social distancing—6 feet or about two arm lengths from others. Be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly. 


Adhering to CDC guidelines could find you spending Thanksgiving by yourself. With that in mind, there is a high potential for feeling lonely because of isolation. Hopefully, everyone in recovery has a plan for combating loneliness tomorrow. 


Staying Connected With Your Peers In Recovery


If you plan to spend Thanksgiving at home alone, then it’s essential that you take steps to connect with the recovery community. There will be no shortage of meetings you can attend virtually. You may decide to participate in multiple meetings tomorrow to share your experience, strength, and hope. Making an effort to attend meetings will break up your day and help you get out of your head. 


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” —JFK— 


Tomorrow, it will be helpful to maintain an attitude of gratitude. Take time to express your thanks by picking up the phone and reaching out to members of your deep bench of support. Naturally, your support network is critical to achieving lasting recovery. You are not alone and you cannot do this alone; let others know how grateful you are to have them in your life. 


No matter how you choose to spend your day tomorrow, your recovery must always be your first priority. Balance the holiday with your recovery needs. If you find yourself in a situation that feels unsafe or something triggers you, please pick up the phone and reach out to your support network. It’s also vital to get to a safe place; there is no shame in leaving a gathering early. 


Thanksgiving 2020 is bound to be unlike any other before it; remember, we are all in this together. At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, we wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you put your recovery first tomorrow; if you do, then you will make it through the holiday clean and sober.


California Addiction Recovery Center


We invite any adult struggling with drugs or alcohol to reach out to Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat for support. HVRC is a chemical dependency rehabilitation hospital. We can help you or a loved one get on the path toward lasting recovery. Take the first step by calling 866-273-0868 to speak to our highly trained admissions staff.