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Increase (not decrease) your meeting attendance.

Find out what is happening in your fellowship – marathon meetings, dances, social events. Whether you are seeing family or alone for the holidays, stopping by these events is an excuse to leave an uncomfortable situation early (if you have to be with family or in social situations where there is alcohol) and for newcomers it is an opportunity to meet members on a more social level and make new friends. Remember – volunteers are always needed and welcomed.

Ask around and you will hear about social gatherings and parties various members of your group will be having in their home. Usually someone is having a party or members are organizing group activities.

It is better to be tired from too much fellowshipping than rested and alone at home.

Pay attention to HALT (Don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired)

Don’t bottle up feelings. Tell people what is going on inside of you. (No one is sick of hearing it).

Be of service – Google volunteer organizations in your area. If you have free time, helping others will lighten your mood and energize you. Many places are happy to have one-time-only volunteers.

If you have to spend time with people who push your buttons or be in an active environment, prepare an exit strategy. Plan ahead to meet someone from your support group afterwards. Be accountable to someone.

If you are leaving town, get a meeting list for that area. Find an alternative place to stay so you have options if you need them – put the info in your phone (local taxi and hotel).

If you are newly clean/sober, stick close to your new friends in recovery. One holiday season away from your using and drinking friends won’t destroy the relationships that matter. Put yourself and your recovery first.

Keep phone numbers of your fellowship friends handy and use them to check in and stay connected.

Get fresh air and exercise daily to keep the blues away.

exercise

 

Don’t over-indulge in caffeine or sugar and drink plenty of water.

Set aside time to meditate or reflect on the positive changes you are making.

Gratitude is a mood changer.

be grateful

 

 

 

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Patty is a nationally recognized certified recovery coach and writer. She lives in New York City.

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