How to Safely Celebrate Halloween This Year

Written by: Lynn Finnell, LMFT, LAADC | Reviewed by: Christian Small, MD

How to Safely Celebrate Halloween This Year

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    It can be challenging to stay sober when holidays roll around. You may find it hard to participate in activities in a sober environment and steer clear of substances that could potentially cause relapse.

    Fortunately, there are many options you can choose to stay sober and still have fun. This Halloween doesn’t have to be scary and anxious for you. You can find support and have a good time without fearing a chance of returning to substance use.

    Thoughts and Feelings to Become Aware Of

    Holidays can be challenging, especially in recovery. Any holiday can be triggering if you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and reliving traumatic experiences.

    It’s important to know you are not alone, and many people in recovery experience this as well. If you are feeling an urge to use substances or think you may go into a depressed state, listen to what your body is telling you.

    You may become uncomfortable at specific events or find it challenging to be around others who drink or use drugs. If this is the case, there are tools available to you to look inward. You can create space to change the narrative and do what aligns with you and your recovery.

    Substance-Free Activities to Partake In

    If you are unsure where to go or what to do during the Halloween season, there are various activities you can partake in, including:

    • Trick or treating with family and friends
    • Family-friendly haunted houses
    • Throwing your own Halloween gathering that is substance-free
    • Attending local churches or spiritual events

    You can create options for yourself to avoid substances by eliminating the environment you would typically go to if you weren’t sober.

    How to Have Fun Being Sober

    To recognize your pain and issues with addiction means finding your worthiness. In sober events, you can still have fun in natural ways. By trick-or-treating and creating sober activities others can attend, you can shine a light to show others that they don’t have to use substances to have fun.

    You can give out candy, eat a lot of food, and play games with family and friends in the community and still have a good time. In recovery, you are capable of allowing yourself to have fun and still be conscious of the struggles to stay sober.

    Things to Look Out For

    Be aware that you may be invited to events where people will be drinking alcohol and using drugs. You have the option to say no and find another activity to do instead. You may struggle with saying no at first but will feel rewarded when you know you set a healthy boundary. It takes work to separate yourself from the normal you were once experiencing.

    Finding Community

    You may be feeling lonely during Halloween and fear you are missing out. It’s important that you know that others are going through the same thing. You can find support in the community by talking about your struggles.

    There are many group therapy and support group options to let out your feelings and work through them in a healthy way. Listen to what your inner voice wants to do, and use that as fuel to talk to others about it. As a result of sharing your feelings surrounding holidays in recovery, someone going through the same things as you may feel empowered and less lonely.

    If You Find Yourself at an Event That Is Not Substance-Free

    Some people may choose to attend events that are not substance-free. What you do in recovery is up to you and your comfort level. If you feel comfortable, you can attend events where people may be using substances. If this is the case, it is possible to work through triggers and not give in to potential temptation.

    Be sure to grab a non-alcoholic drink and snack to keep yourself busy and try to find others not participating in substance use. You can find the willpower to push through; if all else fails, you can choose to leave instead of participating. You do not have to fall into peer pressure from the surrounding actions of others.

    The Factors of Sobriety, Mental Health, and Halloween

    Your mental health plays a significant role in staying sober. If you find yourself in a rough spot mentally, you can find help. Substance abuse is common with mental health disorders. You can lean on your primary support system for help, and most importantly, don’t seclude yourself from everything during this time.

    This Halloween, it can be beneficial to do things that support your journey to staying sober and working on your mental well-being. As Halloween approaches, reach out to people who love and support you.

    Staying sober during Halloween may be a challenge for you. However, the events and opportunities you create during the season can impact you for the rest of your life. You must take the necessary steps to remain sober and be the best version of yourself.

    Events and holidays shouldn’t feel like an excuse to use substances. Fortunately, they can be a reminder that you can have fun without using drugs or alcohol. There are various activities you can partake in, such as trick-or-treating or throwing your own event, that can help you stay sober this Halloween.

    At Villa Oasis San Diego, we can provide alternative guidance to help you find peace within yourself. We have the resources to help you find community and hope during this holiday season. Call us today at (323) 739-8673 to learn more about how we can support you in your recovery.

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