The holidays are a time to celebrate family, love, or whatever religious holiday exists then. For different people the holidays mean different things, and the traditions and schedules change with religions and regions. For some people, it’s an opportunity to live life differently over the next 12 months – and get clean for the holidays, for example.
Traditionally, the winter solstice has always been a celebration for the approaching end of winter and the lengthening of daylight.
But since we don’t really have as much to fear of winter as we might have centuries ago, other traditions have come around to take that place, such as celebrating the end of a good year and looking forward to the beginning of a new, and potentially better year.
For many Americans, the holidays are also a time for reflection. They’re a time to look back over the past 12 months – and beyond – and make a note of what’s been done and left undone. Many people carry a great burden in their lives, and some carry more than one. Shedding that burden, or turning it into a source of strength is the only way to keep on walking – otherwise, we all fold under it sometime sooner or later. And through the reflection that the holidays offer, there’s no better time to deal with your addiction than right now and get clean for the holidays.
Get Clean For The Holidays: A Time For Family
Family matters – even if it’s not your own family, but a family you’ve created through friends and loved ones. And no matter what you believe in or what the holidays represent to you, it’s important to be with the people you love when celebrating the holidays – and when fighting against addiction to get clean for the holidays.
Combine the two together, and the holidays aren’t just a wonderful time to experience the love and togetherness of family – but also to combat addiction, and make a pledge to staying sober while surrounded by those who matter most to you, for whom you can get clean for the holidays and stay sober.
A Good Time For Good Food
Christmas and the holidays in general are almost always a time of major indulgence and subsequent food comas. But maybe, this year could be a little different. If you’ve already stuffed yourself for Thanksgiving, you could put a twist on this year’s solstice by going the other way – a healthier way.
This isn’t just meant to be a cruel joke on the family. Instead, it can further help you cement the holidays as your time to get clean for the holidays.
People vastly underestimate the role nutrition must play in successful drug recovery, especially early on when the food tastes of most people struggling with addiction generally tend to lie on the extremely sweet side of things. Early recovery sort of regresses our tastes to juvenile levels, and we crave fat and sugar as ways to refuel rather than real food. Why isn’t exactly certain, although some suspect that it has to do with the damage that drugs wreak on the brain’s reward center.
Alcohol, cocaine, prescription medication, black tar heroin – it all works on the brain differently, but affects the reward center in much the same way. These substances mess with the way you perceive pleasure, to the point that it cuts you off from truly being happy in conventional ways for quite a while.
This means your idea of what’s yummy doesn’t correlate with what’s healthy anymore. Most people can appreciate a delicious pasta meal, or a well-seasoned lean steak. Instead, your tastes are skewed heavily towards what most affects your reward center – and nothing affects your reward center like fat, salt and especially sugar.
This is because as kids, these are our primary cravings to ensure that the young human body gets as many calories as possible (because before civilization, agriculture and industry, we evolved over millions of years to crave high-calorie foods for survival). The instinct to rely on what satisfies our reward center returns after that part of the brain has been heavily assaulted by drug use.
Reversing that takes time – and the best way to start is by starting on a healthy diet.
Beyond your lust for sugar, there’s another aspect to using nutrition as a tool to fight the cravings of early recovery – and that’s to help your body heal, and to fight off the dangerous effects of binge eating, both physically and mentally. Highly nutritious food is also important to reverse the damage done to the human body by drugs, including organ damage, gut damage, and even brain damage.
Just taking vitamins won’t cut it, either. Refined vitamins might get partially absorbed into the body, but we rely on a complex variety of foods to truly be healthy. Vegetables include phytochemicals that increase the bioavailability of minerals and vitamins from other vegetables and fruits. Think salads, baked vegetables, casseroles, soups, stir fries. Steamed fish, seared steaks, organ meats and glazed chicken. There are countless ways to prepare a mix of vegetables and meats and enjoy a complex, harmonic and delicious symphony of tastes and aromas, all on a budget and all while adhering to the holiday spirit.
It just takes a little research, and you’ll have half a dozen recipes in twenty minutes.
The Holiday Spirit Of Gratitude
The holidays are a time for reflection – but that doesn’t just have to mean reflecting on past tragedies and burdens. There’s also a time to reflect on all the good things that have happened – and in all honestly, focusing on them can be much more beneficial to your conviction to get clean for the holidays.
There’s enough misery in addiction, and enough shame and burden in early recovery. Most people feel depressed soon after going sober, and it doesn’t help that life is extremely difficult to adjust to right out the gate. You may even want the help of a Los Angeles sober living community to help your recovery.
But in a time for gratitude, happiness and togetherness, sobriety can truly flourish. If ever there’s a time to soak up positivity and fight against your addiction with everything you have to get clean for the holidays, it’s while the holiday spirit is alive and well.
A Time For New Commitments
The holidays aren’t just the end of the year – they’re the prelude to new beginnings, and new commitments. Now is the time to prepare for a new year, and the chance to make things right – to start a second life, and appreciate every second you get to breathe in this world’s air and put your own two hands to use doing things you love and care about, leaving the life of addiction far behind for a life spent well.