The first stages of recovery can be dark, depressing and confusing, which is why finding hope is so important to motivate an addict to continue treatment. The idea of hope is simple - it is the desire, understanding or expectation that an individual’s life will get better in the future.
Hope is vital because willpower isn’t always enough. It can provide the foundation that an addict can use to build their future on. Being new in sobriety feels like starting over, oftentimes, an addict has damaged every aspect of their lives. They have ruined relationships, lost their job, gotten into legal trouble and more.
Having hope can motivate a recovering addict to continue the long, difficult process of rebuilding their life. Here are some ways to help you find hope:
- Share in other stories of hope – finding hope in the beginning can be difficult, fortunately, hope spreads like wildfire - start by going to a meeting or talking to other recovering addicts who have been where you are. Knowing that others have been successful can help inspire you.
- Accepting your situation – acceptance is a vital part of recovery in many ways and it can also help a recovering addict find hope. It’s difficult to accept the damage an addict has done to their lives and their loved ones, but acceptance of your situation and understanding that you aren’t where you want to be can help give you guidance of where you want to be.
- Set goals and plan for the future – staying present and in the moment is very important for sobriety, you’ll often hear sayings like “just for today”, but it’s also important to look ahead and find direction for your life. Having a goal can help motivate you to reach it.
Finding Harmony Over the Holiday Season
The holiday season is recognized for family get-togethers and good spirit. People frequently gather with their family members and friends for celebrations and other events. While some individuals look forward to the holiday season, others may not be as cheerful.
It's especially important to look after your mental health around the holidays when you'll be doing a lot of socializing, gift-giving, and traveling. If you're feeling low around this time of year, you're not alone. Many people report experiencing significant levels of worry or stress throughout the holiday season.
The Holiday Blues
The holiday season can be a tremendously stressful time for many individuals who are struggling with a mental illness such as depression and anxiety. The pressure of trying to do everything, planning the perfect holiday, traveling to visit family, saying yes to every event, meeting those year-end deadlines and the financial burdens of holiday shopping, can be enough to send anyone into a tailspin.
This holiday hustle and bustle cannot only heavily impact individuals who are prone to anxiety, depression and stress (and a lack of sleep), but can also take a toll on those who have never experienced a mental illness.
A study has stated that many people with mental health conditions have reported that holidays make their conditions worse. According to the research:
- Nearly 755 people said the holidays make them feel depressed or unsatisfied
- 68% saying they are financially burdened
- 66% have felt lonely
- 63% have felt too much pressure
- 57% have had unreasonable expectations
- 55% found themselves recalling nicer moments in the past
- 50% felt unable to be with loved ones
The holiday season may be a lonely or stressful time for individuals and families dealing with mental health issues causing anxiety and/or depression. If you have a mental health problem, stress might exacerbate your symptoms.
When our stress levels are high, our physical and mental health suffers - that's why it's crucial to notice when we're feeling overwhelmed and take care of ourselves throughout the holidays.
As the holidays approach, it's essential to keep your mental health and that of your loved ones in check. Regularly check on yourself and others around you. As much as you can, lend a hand, but don't go overboard. The holidays are a once-a-year occasion that should be savored as much as possible, especially if spent with loved ones.
We are open and operational even during the holidays. If you or someone you care about has been struggling with mental health in recent days, please contact us at (949) 200-7929. We will gladly assist you.
Emerson Levine, CADC II Intake and Discharge Manager