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10 coping Skills: Trauma

Navigating Trauma Triggers During the Holidays

10 Coping Skills for Gathering Strength

The holiday season, though often associated with joy and togetherness, can be a challenging time for those who have experienced trauma. Festivities, family gatherings, and the general hustle and bustle may unwittingly act as triggers, resurfacing difficult memories. It’s crucial to acknowledge these challenges and equip ourselves with coping skills to navigate the holiday season with resilience and strength.

  1. Mindful Breathing: In moments of stress or trigger, take intentional deep breaths. Mindful breathing helps regulate your nervous system, bringing a sense of calm to the chaos.
  2. Grounding Techniques: Engage your senses to ground yourself in the present moment. Feel the texture of an object, listen to the sounds around you, or focus on the taste of a comforting treat.
  3. Establish Boundaries: Set clear boundaries for yourself during gatherings. Communicate your limits to family and friends, allowing you to create a safe space for your emotional well-being.
  4. Create a Safe Space: Identify a quiet place at gatherings where you can retreat if needed. Having a designated safe space provides a refuge when the environment becomes overwhelming.
  5. Express Your Needs: Don’t hesitate to communicate your needs to those around you. Letting others know how they can support you during the holidays fosters understanding and empathy.
  6. Lean on a Trusted Friend: Have a friend who understands your experiences? Keep them close during gatherings. Knowing you have someone you trust by your side can provide immense comfort.
  7. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Understand that it’s okay to feel triggered and that your emotions are valid. Practice self-compassion as you navigate through difficult moments.
  8. Mindful Reflection: Set aside time for mindful reflection. Journaling or quietly reflecting on your emotions allows you to process triggering events and gain insight into your reactions.
  9. Establish Rituals of Comfort: Create personal rituals that bring you comfort and a sense of control. Whether it’s a familiar routine or a cherished activity, these rituals can anchor you during the holidays.
  10. Seek Professional Support: If the holiday season feels particularly challenging, don’t hesitate to seek support from a mental health professional. They can provide valuable guidance and coping strategies tailored to your needs.

Navigating trauma triggers during the holidays is about recognizing your vulnerabilities and implementing strategies that prioritize your well-being. By incorporating these coping skills, you empower yourself to engage in holiday festivities with resilience and strength, fostering a sense of control over your own narrative. Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your mental health during this season of celebration.

Also, check out our YouTube Channel for videos to help support you with practical thoughts, advice, and strategies.

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