Many treatment programs encourage people not to date in early recovery so they can focus on themselves, but when Valentine’s Day rolls around, it can make being single feel depressing instead of empowering.
If you are just leaving residential treatment and are newly sober, you have likely found yourself single on Valentine’s Day and potentially feeling triggered. While being alone can make many people want to drink away their sorrows or numb the pain with drugs, this is not the answer. Especially now that you are sober, turning to drugs or alcohol to make it through Valentine’s Day is not the way to go.
Tips for Your First Valentine’s Day in Addiction Recovery
Spending Valentine’s Day sober and single doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Our Massachusetts rehab center is sharing a few tips on having a fun Valentine’s Day in recovery even if you are not in a relationship.
Share the Love
Although this Hallmark holiday seems to be all about romantic relationships, this doesn’t have to be the case. Chances are if you are in early recovery, your loved ones have been through a lot and some have been there to support you every step of the way. Use this holiday to show these people just how much you love and appreciate them. Send your mom flowers. Buy your friends their favorite candy. Write your sponsor a thoughtful card. Even a small gesture can go a long way and will also leave you feeling good about yourself.
You don’t need to be part of a couple in order to celebrate Valentine’s Day. A great sober Valentine’s Day for someone in early recovery is a day of self-care. Drugs and alcohol can do a number to both your physical and mental health. Beyond a medical detox to wean your body off these toxins, part of early recovery is healing from this damage. Make Valentine’s Day a day of self-care to aid in the healing process. Have an at-home spa day to care for damaged skin. Go for a brisk walk to get your heart pumping. Meditate to destress. Write down everything you love about yourself and being clean.
Avoid Social Media
Don’t torture yourself by stalking your ex for the latest updates on their relationship status or scrolling through endless photos of happy couples on social media. Rather than subjecting yourself to content that may make you sad, unplug for a few days. Instead of focusing on other people’s relationships, staying away from social media can help you focus on yourself.
Gather with Loved Ones
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean romantic getaways or candlelit dinners. Your Valentine’s Day in recovery could include a small gathering with friends and family. Some recovery groups will even hold events for such occasions. Even if you can only get together virtually, not spending the day alone can make your sober Valentine’s day celebration much better.
If you fear that your first Valentine’s Day in addiction recovery could lead to relapse, get busy. Boredom is a common trigger for addiction relapse, so staying at home alone is not the way to go. Instead, get active and do something to keep your mind off of harmful thoughts or cravings.
Your first Valentine’s Day in recovery may be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be boring or lead to relapse. If you do falter along the way, we want to help. Contact us today to learn more about our programs at Vertava Health Massachusetts.