How to Ask Family for Support During the Holidays

Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, however, they can be just as stressful. Between spending money on presents, food, decor, and travel as well as getting together with family or friends you don’t see often, the holidays throw people off their regular routine and can be especially stressful for people in recovery. That is why it is important to learn how to ask family for support during the holidays so that you’re not going through it alone.

Make Requests

One of the most important things you can do going into the holiday season, especially if you are in early recovery, is to make special requests with your loved ones to help carry you through the holiday season. These can include:

  • Let them know what to tell people. If someone notices you’re not drinking or has heard through the grapevine that you’ve been through addiction treatment, they might approach one of your family members to get information. Make sure you let your family know how you’d like them to respond, if at all.
  • Ask them to be a teammate. Make sure your family knows that you don’t want to feel any pressure to drink, or pressure to talk about your addiction. Ask them to keep an extra eye out if anyone is putting that pressure on you to drink or is being too invasive about your recovery.
  • Limit alcohol at gatherings. If you are newly sober, it may still be too triggering for you to see alcohol openly flowing at gatherings. Ask your family if they can limit alcohol intake around you, just for this year, or to make sure it is put away.
  • Let them know if you’re limiting gift-giving. Addiction treatment can be a large up-front cost for many people, although studies show it saves money in the long-run in the ratio of 7 to 1. Let the family know if you need to reign in spending this year. Suggest to just do a Secret Santa or gifts under a certain amount this year to save money while you get back on track.
  • Tell them this year isn’t right for you. If you are at a point in your recovery where you feel like the holidays might be too triggering for you, make a request to your family that they understand that you may need to bow out this year. There is always next year!

Ask for a Sober Companion

Another way you can ask family for support during the holidays is by asking for a sober companion. This can be especially helpful if you and your family travel out of town for the holidays and you’re not around your usual sober support system. Having a sober companion can include:

  • Staying sober at family gatherings with you. By having someone to stay sober with, you will feel less “alone” and can work through the process together.
  • Leaving gatherings early with you if you’re feeling too overwhelmed. Leaving a gathering early can feel like a failure, even though you are doing what is best for your sobriety. Leaving with someone can lift your spirits, as well as help you make a quick exit. Plus, leaving a triggering gathering doesn’t mean you have to go straight home. With a companion, you can go grab ice cream or see a movie instead of heading home to get your mind off things easier.
  • Sharing a hotel room with you. Being alone often isn’t good in recovery, so sharing a hotel room with one of your family members can solve this. You will have someone to talk to at all hours, plus, you’ll be saving on hotel costs.
  • Participating in other sober activities. Too much family time might be stressful and triggering, so make sure you carve out some time for other activities. Having someone to do sober activities with around the holidays can help, such as volunteering or going on hikes.

Make Sure They Know The Signs of Relapse

Family involvement in recovery is extremely important, and it is crucial that your close family knows the signs of relapse. It is especially important that they brush up on these signs of relapse around the holidays so that they can keep an extra eye on you. Make sure they feel comfortable speaking up to you if you exhibit the signs, and make sure you take it seriously if they do.

About Pinelands Recovery Center

Overcoming addiction is difficult and, with the added stress of the holiday season, it is especially important to ask family for support during the holidays.

Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.

We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.

We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit