The festive season for some means depression, drugs and alcohol abuse


It is the season to be jolly and for many, it is a wonderful time for the joining together of families and celebrating the festive season and enjoying a well-earned holiday.

For many others, however, for several reasons, this is a time of depression and the turning to excessive alcohol consumption or drug abuse to cope. It is often said that some of the loneliest people can be found in a crowded room so don’t think it is just those who are without family who suffer at this time.

Many who are overstressed from a long year of work (and let’s face it 2020 has had more than its share of additional stress) find the coming together of people, especially not particularly well-liked family members even more stressful.

Financial difficulties may be exacerbated by the expense of year-end holidays and gift buying. School kids may be exhausted by the strain of exams and awaiting results, or anxious about new beginnings – and of course, there are all the lonely people too – a sad reality in a world of so many.

Look around you

Take a good look around you this festive season. Are there loved ones who are exhibiting unusual; or abnormal behaviour? Maybe partying a little too hard – or disappearing for long periods? These can be tell-tale signs of people who, suffering holiday stress and depression, are turning to drugs and alcohol as mechanisms of escape.

Here are a few important tips for those who may find this time difficult…

Budget and stick to it – Set a budget with which you can cope and stick to it. Rather buy very small gifts and take a family holiday close to home like camping, than break the bank.

Take some ‘me’ time – The minute you feel the stress of too many people demanding too much of you, take some ‘me’ time. Explain that you need some time to think and plan ahead and take long walks and long baths – or do whatever gives you some necessary time alone.

Be a part of a community – On the other side of the coin, if you are alone you need not be. There are some wonderful Christian activities and groups where you will always be more than welcome. Join clubs and hiking groups or be a part of a sports club too.

Enjoy nature – Instead of taking another drink or smoking another joint because you are bored, go out and enjoy nature. Take the aforementioned walks or bike rides or just go to picnic where there aren’t too many people but you are also not dangerously alone.

Exercise for fun – One of the best ways to avoid overindulgence or depression is to take some invigorating exercise. It helps to elevate your mood, keep holiday weight down, induce better sleep and it is a great antidote for drug or alcohol abuse.

Learn that to say ‘No’ is so uplifting – You’ll be surprised how overcoming peer pressure can make you feel so free and able to set your own path in life. Those who can say ‘no’ enjoy a life of joy that those who succumb to being ‘part of the gang’ will never experience.

Stay connected – If you are already experiencing issues with depression, drugs and alcohol abuse, ensure that you stay connected to your rehabilitation facilitators throughout the season, especially when you are feeling tempted to stray.

Talk to those who care 

We at Transformation Life Centre are very aware of the pain that one can suffer when others all around you seem to be having such a great time. Depression, drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are very real factors at this time of the year, so please if you are suffering these issues, or if you have seen loved ones unable to cope at this time, do not hesitate to contact us and let us see how we can help you.

Through love and our faith-based, in and outpatient rehabilitation programs, we are able to not only assess the issues that lead to addiction but free individuals from it and go onto lead normal lives within a supportive community for the rest of their days.

We wish you all a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year that brings you everything you can wish for in 2021!

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