Anxiety and Addiction: Dealing with Father’s Day Triggers

dad-daughterAnxiety and addiction can be especially difficult to cope with during family-focused holidays such as Father’s Day.   Many women in recovery struggle with family relationships, so spending the holiday with family may increase the risk for relapse.  Let’s take a look at some ways you can reduce stress this Father’s Day and have a positive holiday with your family.

Overcoming Anxiety and Addiction: Coping With Family

Anxiety and addiction are often seen together.  Why? Sometimes anxiety brings on the addiction as clients drink or consume substances in order to try to alleviate their anxiety symptoms on their own (i.e. drinking to feel calm or less nervous). Other times addiction leads to anxiety as clients cope with the symptoms, side effects and consequences of substance addiction. However, anxiety and addiction don’t necessarily have to manifest in negative ways.

It is important no matter where you are in your recovery to have a positive “can-do” attitude about challenges you face.  Father’s Day may be a difficult holiday for women who suffer from anxiety and addiction, as relationships with family members, such as parents, are often harmed by the consequences of addiction.  Many women feel guilt or shame about the way they have interacted with family while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and it can be hard to face family after you are clean.  Let’s take a look at some ways to have a positive holiday and beat negative feelings.

Alternative Activities for the Holiday

Father’s Day triggers include stress from damaged relationships in the family, uncomfortable or sad memories from holidays in the past, poor family dynamics, guilt and others. Participate in positive activities meant to strengthen your recovery against anxiety and addiction and make the holiday less of a stressful or difficult time for you.

  • Treat yourself well. You may be experiencing guilt or sad thoughts but it’s important to treat yourself well to fight anxiety and addiction. This means getting good sleep, eating well, exercising, practicing proper grooming habits and thinking positively.
  • Focus on others. Make Father’s Day easier by forgetting about thinking about yourself and putting your efforts into making the holiday a special time for someone else. This can include your parent or grandparent, your children or grandchildren, a friend or even someone you don’t know by participating in volunteer work (i.e. volunteering at a soup kitchen for the holiday).
  • Attend extra support group meetings. You can use the added support and others can offer advice to how they manage holidays successfully.
  • Update your relapse prevention plan. Update the strategies of the plan in order for them to have the utmost relevance and use to you. This can include special plan initiatives just for Father’s Day. Article Link…


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