The Thanksgiving season can be a time filled with family, fellowship, and fun—but it can just as often be a season of stress and anxiety. For those who are in recovery, Thanksgiving can be especially fraught. Not only is there a lot of social pressure and anxiety, but alcohol is readily available—a potentially dangerous combination.

The good news is, there are practical steps you can take to preserve your recovery even through the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Here are a few steps to help to prevent relapse and keep your sobriety on track this Thanksgiving.

Keep Your Sobriety on Track This Thanksgiving

Leave some time for yourself. Amidst all the seasonal busyness, make sure you set aside some quiet time to recharge your batteries. That doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself—being with family and friends is important—but do protect some down time for yourself.

Don’t skip out on your therapy sessions. If you’re meeting with a counselor or therapist, or involved in a support group, keep going to your scheduled sessions—even if you don’t feel like you “need” to. Maintaining recovery should always be your top priority.

Identify your triggers. Think about the people, places, or activities that are likely to trigger a relapse—and avoid them.

Have an escape plan. Prepare an excuse for exiting parties and family events early, if you need to; get out of situations that might cause you to stumble.

Surround yourself with like-minded people. If you have other family members who are in recovery, or who simply don’t care to drink, find them and stick with them through seasonal gatherings. There’s strength in numbers!

Don’t let your recovery fall apart this Thanksgiving; use these tips to help keep yourself on the right track.

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