Thanksgiving may kick off the holiday season, but November is much more than a special Thursday at the end of the month. Clients with substance use disorders (SUD) can benefit from finding new ways to meet and cope with the expectations of the holiday season. One way to engage your client in finding healthy ways to cope with the stress of gatherings is to work with them through discovering the Days of November.
New Goals and Skills
Regardless of your client’s situation, they should always have goals to strive towards. Goals and new coping skills are the fundamental building blocks to healthy holidays and lasting recovery. Additionally, trying something new can also provide exciting adventures to help your client focus on positivity rather than problem-solving.
Try Something New
Maintaining sobriety can create a connection to routine. Routines create reliability and discipline, which aid in committing to and achieving long-term goals. On the other hand, someone who practices the same patterns or rituals can limit themselves to repetition by fear of the unknown. Stepping outside of their comfort zone will boost their self-esteem and help create new, healthy patterns.
While your client was in substance addiction treatment, they had opportunities to try new activities. Some of those activities helped them find inner peace or alternative methods to responding to overwhelming situations. By trying new things, your client learned what works for them and what does not. November is another opportunity for them to find new ways to enjoy their sobriety. Experiencing new things promotes growth and learning while also helping to avoid the lows that come with boredom.
New achievements create new memories and turn “what ifs” into accomplishments. Participating in an unfamiliar activity also increases your client’s creativity. When clients push themselves into new situations, they begin to look at unique circumstances, process ways to handle them, and develop new skills. This cycle occurs every time they start a new hobby or adventure. Clients in recovery benefit by encouraging themselves to find healthy ways to complete new goals.
Thirty Days of November
Some people don’t enjoy the holidays for a number of reasons. For those who dread them or have past trauma associated with the season, encouraging them to partake in designated national days throughout November—such as Cook for Your Pets Day—can provide them with something to look forward to during the month. If your client is new to recovery and exploring newly charted territory, celebrating national days provides relief from boredom and wondering how to live life without substances. Your client certainly doesn’t need to partake in daily activities, but they can be beneficial in overcoming holiday stress.
Some highlights of November are:
- November 1st is All Saints’ Day, National Author’s Day, Cook for Your Pets Day, Men Make Dinner Day, and World Vegan Day. Celebrating any of these activities can reinforce holistic therapies learned in substance addiction treatment. For example, maybe your client started journaling while they were in treatment; in doing so, they are the authors of their life. Another part of substance addiction treatment is learning how healthy eating helps heal the mind and body. So whether your client wants to cook on November 1st or adopt a vegan lifestyle, this is the perfect day to start.
- November 2nd is All Souls Day, Day of the Dead, and National Recreation Day. Of course, National Recreation Day is a fun way to get outdoors and be active. Encourage your client to join a sport, take a yoga class, or have just fun outside.
- November 3rd is another opportunity for your client to learn about a different culture. National Japanese Day provides an opportunity to immerse in Japanese traditions. For example, Buddhism is one of the main religions of Japan, and it teaches a person to be mindful of things that come and go. Additionally, meditation is an essential aspect of Buddhism, an activity that can also be practiced on November 3rd for National Stress Relief Day.
Other exciting days in November include:
- November 7th: Encourage your client to take time off and do nothing in celebration of National Zero Tasking Day.
- November 13th: World Kindness Day is an opportunity for your client to practice being kind to themselves and others.
- November 17th: This designated day of fun is National Take a Hike Day. Encourage your client to experience nature while healing the body and mind.
- November 20th: Guide your client to embrace oddity through National Absurdity Day.
- November 26th: Your client can partake in National Cake Day by learning to bake a cake or simply treating themselves to a piece from their local bakery.
No matter how your client views the stress of November, it provides many opportunities to learn and grow. Help your client expand possibilities and potential through experimenting with new activities and cultural experiences.
Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season for most people; however, there are a number of festivities and opportunities that can be celebrated starting on November 1st. Encouraging your client to explore national holidays or designated days through November can increase their creativity, brainpower, and sense of adventure. When your client tries new things, they release themselves from routine and fear the unknown. That shift in their mindset can help them cope with anxiety, stress, and depression. Your client may also consider new paths that will lead to a healthier life both mentally and physically. Through detox and substance addiction treatment at Alta Centers, your client can identify and understand their stressors and triggers of the holiday season. They will also learn healthy coping skills to expand on outside of treatment. Our private and luxurious center perched in the Hollywood Hills near the famous Hollywood sign provides hope. Call us today at (888) 203-2583.