Heading away on holiday is always a time of opulence and excess, whether that be diving into the chocolate scene of Belgium, the gelato of Italy or the pilsners of Germany, but in the case of the latter, when you’re suffering from addiction, the temptation of alcohol can be extremely alluring.
In fact, when travelling there are many scenarios where alcohol can be all too tempting, and if you need addiction help to try and avoid that, doing so in a foreign language can be difficult. Of course, there are ways to connect with councillors from home these days via the likes of Zoom and video call. However, avoiding relapse while on holiday is the main goal, whether the bar at an all-inclusive is too much, or the free flowing booze on a cruise or at a nightclub is becoming even more appealing.
We have a habit of letting our guard down on holiday, so here are a few tips for you to avoid doing that and ensuring you don’t relapse.
You’ll perhaps be able to identify where you may struggle well before you board a plane to go on holiday, so plan for those occasions. This will allow you to be mentally prepared for those challenges, and it may be that you avoid them completely if you’re not feeling up to the challenge that day.
Assess each activity and each part of your holiday as a risk and also be aware of any triggers that you may encounter as you go through the holiday. The best thing to do is have a plan of action in place, so if usually you would spend the afternoon by the bar on a relaxing, laze-by-the-pool type holiday, take a book or some puzzles for you to do instead. Boredom can often lead to relapse, so do ensure you avoid that.
Maintain your routine
A big part of staying in recovery is having a routine and that will ensure that your mind stays in the right position to battle away any temptation. If you do yoga at home to maintain your focus for staying healthy and in recovery, then do that while you’re away too.
In fact, your new routine may even have become a passion and you could visit parts of the world that have yoga retreats, where you can not only stay on the wagon, but also aid your recovery further.
Avoid people who could encourage relapse and stay in touch with your support network
People are a big part of staying sober. In some cases they can cause relapse, in others they can be the support network you need to stay on track. Firstly, keep in touch with those that can help you, whether it’s going away with them or just checking in on a day-to-day basis.
Secondly, avoid people that could cause relapse. That includes friends you may go on holiday with that have previously been damaging to your addiction, or meeting new friends on holiday that may encourage drinking.
We often get talking to other people while away, just make sure they aren’t going to be the type of person that may cause you to take a drink that will leave you back to square one. It’s a holiday, you should be enjoying yourself, after all.