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‘Tis the Season: Trauma

10 Coping Skills for Handling Holiday Triggers

As the holiday season unfolds, it’s essential to equip ourselves with an array of coping skills to gracefully navigate moments that may stir up trauma. Here are ten fresh strategies to empower you during family gatherings and festive occasions:

  1. Artistic Expression: Engage in creative outlets like drawing, painting, or writing. Artistic expression provides a constructive channel for processing emotions and finding a voice for your experiences.
  2. Affirmations: Develop a set of affirmations that resonate with your strength and resilience. Repeat these affirmations when facing triggers, reinforcing a positive mindset.
  3. Nature Connection: Take breaks in nature when possible. A stroll in the park, mindful breathing amid greenery, or simply feeling the breeze on your face can ground you in the present moment.
  4. Gratitude Journaling: Cultivate a habit of daily gratitude journaling. Focusing on positive aspects of life, no matter how small, can shift your mindset and counteract negative triggers.
  5. Sensory Comfort Items: Bring comforting items with you to gatherings, like a cozy blanket, a stress ball, or scented oils. These sensory aids provide a tangible source of reassurance.
  6. Virtual Support Networks: Establish connections with supportive online communities. Engaging with people who share similar experiences can offer understanding and solidarity, especially during the holidays.
  7. Mindful Movement: Incorporate mindful movement practices like yoga or tai chi into your routine. These activities promote physical well-being while fostering a sense of tranquility.
  8. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Practice progressive muscle relaxation, systematically tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups. This technique helps release physical tension associated with triggers.
  9. Music as Therapy: Create playlists with soothing or empowering music. Music has a powerful impact on emotions and can serve as a therapeutic tool to manage stress during triggering moments.
  10. Digital Detox: Allocate specific times for a digital detox during the holidays. Limit exposure to triggering content on social media and news platforms, providing a mental break.

As you venture through the holiday season, experiment with these coping skills to discover what resonates with you. Combining various strategies can create a personalized toolkit to help you face triggers with resilience and maintain your well-being. Remember, you have the strength within you to navigate this season on your terms.

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