12 Tips for Abstinence Over the Holidays

1. INTENTION: Begin each day with humility. Reach out and connect with something greater than you, in whatever way resonates for you. Help me. Show me. Guide me. Take away my difficulties. Heal and care for me. Lead me with Love. Breathe in, breathe out. Ask your Higher Power to assist you with navigating this day as it unfolds.

2. FOOD PLAN: Have a clear and simple food plan, be prepared with necessities such as a take along starch, V8 juice for vegetables, salad dressing for fats and a snack to go. Weigh and measure, drink enough water and stay off the scale other than on your designated weigh day.

3. SELF- CARE: Take time for physical self-care! Exercise, take a hot bath or a long shower, get a haircut and color or a mani/pedi. Take a walk in the fresh air and get adequate rest. Wear clothes that fit and you feel good in. Keep your appointments with your therapist, your dentist and doctor. Get a massage or other healing service.

4. BOUNDARIES: Establish safety and boundaries around what is reasonable for a food/sugar addict in recovery. Allow yourself the same Grace you would grant a friend. Do not participate in baking traditions and exchanges, watch cooking shows, purchase or prepare trigger foods for gatherings or gifts.

5. TIME MANAGEMENT: Prioritize your time and schedule. Go to meetings, don’t skip your meetings, add a meeting by visiting a new one in person or on ZOOM! Kindly pass on functions that are not critical or if they cause undue stress.  

6. GIFTS: To gift is defined as “to give something without the hopes of getting anything in return”. Think about each person on your list, pray and ask what would be meaningful coming from you. It may be time, energy or support. Be creative about what you offer. Do not overspend, it’s like overeating and will have a negative impact on your overall health in recovery.

7. KISS! Keep It Simple Sister! Keep it ALL simple! Decorations, presents, food and especially expectations!

8. CONNECTION: Stay connected to others and to recovery energy and activities. Say YES to service opportunities. Don’t skip meetings, did I remember to say not to skip meetings? GO TO MEETINGS!

9. WRITING: Write! Write about a reading or meditation. Write a holiday letter or a card to someone you love. Write about and share with a fellow about difficult holiday triggers or relationships. Write a daily 10th step inventory. Write to understand, write to heal, write to get healthy and stay healthy.

10. SUPPORT: Call, text, facetime, make a funny video and send it to a fellow. WE are kind, loving, funny, good looking and wise. Share and receive this support.

11. FUN: Music, reading, Christmas light tours, movies or a play…participate in abstinent activities that make you feel good. If you love Christmas music turn it on, if you dislike Christmas music change the channel. Watch Rudolph or Frosty or The Grinch. Listen to a comedian or read a good book. DO what makes you feel good. DON’T do what doesn’t. TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE!

12. GRATITUDE: Thank You. Always at the end of and throughout the day be aware and grateful. This is vital.

The McIver Center

  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN
  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN
  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN
  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN
  • The McIver Center, Wayzata, MN

COR Retreat participants spend five days and four nights together at the McIver Center for Spiritual Development at The Retreat in Wayzata, MN. The McIver Center is located just 15 minutes west of Minneapolis, MN.

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COR Retreat Daily Schedule