Many of us are approaching the holidays with mixed emotions. We wish we could hug those who need comfort or support. Some may lament the upending of family traditions. We feel the burden of holiday expectations, and we know that it’s especially difficult for those who are also managing the challenges of a loved one’s substance use or addiction.

We consulted some of the families we work with to gather suggestions that may help you and yours manage this holiday season:

Decide what you can comfortably handle, and communicate this to your family and friends. Is it reasonable to take on planning and preparation of even a small, socially-distanced gathering? Can others help or contribute to tasks?

Get rest. The holidays can wear you down emotionally and physically. Self-care may be your best gift to yourself.

Count your blessings. It can help to write down what you are grateful for.

Recognize your emotions. You don’t need to pretend like everything is the same or okay, and it’s natural to feel many emotions — sometimes all at once. The truth is, the need for support is greater at this time of year than almost any other season. If you’re having trouble “going it alone,” we encourage you to connect with peers in our online support community.

Know that we are sending you love, light and hope this holiday season and into the new year.

Hear more from a parent who has been there

Download the latest episode of our podcast, Heart of the Matter with Elizabeth Vargasto gain insights from author and advocate, David Sheff, whose own experience supporting a child with substance use disorder inspired the memoir and motion picture Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction.

Listen via our websiteiTunesSpotifyGoogle and wherever you get your podcasts.

Partnership to End Addiction
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