Developing Rituals for the Holidays by Elana Clark-Faler, LCSW

Creating rituals for your daily life is essential.  If you know it or not, when you are in the depths of your addiction, you created rituals and routines.  These rituals were consumed with purchasing, administering and using a substance.  If you are recovering from a process addiction (food, sex, or gambling), your rituals are consumed by obtaining warmth and security from an insecure source.

When you begin the recovery process, the focus is developing new and healthy rituals and routines that support your life.  This is why I have clients start with developing a schedule.  Your schedule should focus on activities that support your health and well-being.

I think it’s essential to develop new routine and rituals for the holidays.  In the past, you may have structured your holidays around the use of substances.  Thinking of new activities might feel a little foreign.  I think it’s important to identify activities that you and your house guests can participate in.  Here are some ideas:

-Make pre-made gingerbread cookies that guests can decorate their selves

-Group games

-Adult and child coloring books and colored pencils laid out in clear sight

-Obtain a soda maker and have guests make their own sodas

-Layout books and magazines

-Have guests bring instruments

-Sing songs together or karaoke

-Play some sports together (bean-bag toss, badminton, rochet, and horseshoes)

-Group walks or hikes

Just to name a few.

Often alcohol is purchased for group activities to reduce anxiety and relax.  There are many ways to relieve anxiety.  I encourage you to stay open and start new rituals and activities.

Elana Clark-Faler
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