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Holiday Stress

December is a month full of celebrations and gatherings with friends and family. For some, this is a great time of cheer, for others this can be a very difficult and stressful time. Sometimes stress can arise from: money issues, family issues, time management, etc. This stress may lead people, especially addicts and recovering addicts, to turn to alcohol and drugs as a stress management tool. It is always crucial, but even more so during the holidays, to deal with stress in a healthy way, instead of reverting to drugs and alcohol.

The best way to deal with stress is to try to avoid it in the first place. A lot of stress arises from hosting a holiday party, so try to go somewhere else for holiday gatherings instead of having many people come over to your home. Additionally, try to avoid situations where you will be pressured to drink alcohol or do drugs. Instead of celebrating with your friends at the bar, suggest other activities such as ice skating, looking at Christmas lights, or attending other local festivities.

If you do attend a holiday party or a bar where you will be felling pressured to consume alcohol or drugs, make sure that you stay strong throughout the situation. Before arriving, have an exit strategy; if possible, do not rely on others for a ride home, so you can leave when you feel you need to. Additionally, plan to only stay for a short time.  If you do not have a car, call a taxi and set-up a time to be picked up before the gathering.  This way you have a time you have to leave by and you will not have to wait for someone else.  While at a gathering where others will be drinkinging, make sure to always have a non alcoholic drink with you, so people do not continue to ask you if you want a drink.

Even with the above tips, stress can be very difficult to avoid during the holiday season, but it also can be managed in a healthy way. When faced with stress this family season, try some of the below healthy stress management tools:

  • Exercising
  • Meditating
  • Start a stress journal, where you write about what caused your stress
  • Focus on the positives
  • Accept what you cannot change
  • Share how you are feeling
  • Get a massage
  • Engage in activities that keep you active
  • Get enough sleep
  • Always have someone sober to call, in times of stress
  • Take a warm bath

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The Council's Mission

The Council offers hope and recovery to people struggling with addictive behaviors and strengthens our community through prevention and education programs.

The Council's Core Values

HOPE -   Our attitude, relationships and skills project the belief that positive change can occur and goals can be achieved.

CARING & COMPASSION -  We understand that those we serve have needs for caring and compassion as they do the hard work of addressing their addiction. We communicate this from our initial welcoming message and continue throughout their stay. Our staff has similar needs, and to be effective, we need to encourage a culture of caring and compassion for each other.

COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE -  Our services reflect a thorough understanding of the strengths and needs of those we serve and offer a range of high quality, evidence-based practices in the field of addiction. We continuously improve our services through assessing our outcomes, our wise use of resources, responding to changing community needs and supporting the development of our staff.

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