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Resources

How to Help Family and Friends Dealing with  Substance Use and Mental Health Challenges Over the Holidays 

Story

Holiday season may worsen feelings of despair for those battling addiction

The holidays can be a stressful time for families and friends supporting loved ones facing substance use and mental health challenges. We reached out to our clinical team and Peer Support team at SouthLight to get some tips for not only surviving but thriving during the holidays.  

SouthLight has a dynamic Peer Support Program with about 25 staff who are currently in recovery and support others on their journey. They’ve been there, and are well-equipped to go out into the community and provide support by modeling recovery values to encourage wellness and empower individuals to meet their goals. 

Tips for Family

Let go of expectations. Just be present.

1.

Take the pressure off of gift-giving. The wellness of your loved one is the most precious gift. 

2.

At social functions or family gatherings, they may need some space. Encourage them to take a break.  

3.

Let your loved one know that they are more than their symptoms.

4.

Be mindful of your own stresses and expectations.  

5.

Take time for yourself; set a good example by taking care of yourself first.  

6.

Tips for Individuals

Know your triggers and plan ahead.

1.

Have an exit strategy at social events; a plan to be able to leave if needed, or someone you can call.  

2.

Take care of yourself and get enough rest.

3.

Don’t stress about gift-giving. You are enough.

4.

Know that hard feelings mean you care.  

5.

Remember that healing comes with pain.  

6.

Reach out for help: there are many support groups open on the holidays.  

7.

For more information or support, contact the SouthLight main office at (919) 787-6131

our Peer Support Intake Coordinator 919-787-6131 ext 1135.