It’s official! The holiday season is once again among us. While many look forward to this time of year and all the festivities and excitement it brings, it can also be a challenging time for others. With all the excitement, the holidays can also bring about stress, anxiety, loneliness and sometimes unexpected triggers.

It is important to make a plan on how you are going to tackle the upcoming month of holiday cheer, and reduce the risk of relapse. It is important to plan so that you can be prepared ahead of time. Just like when we make a fire safety plan, it is just as important to build the same plan during December which can also be used in the upcoming months. Building a safety plan will help to ensure you can keep and maintain your recovery.

Here Are Some Helpful Tips And Coping Techniques:

  • Find strategies to minimize stress such as deep breathing or meditation; stress can often be a trigger and can lead to a relapse without realizing.
  • Make a list of support people; knowing who to call when you are struggling is important.
  • Attend your local Gambler’s Anonymous meetings- they can help keep you grounded in your recovery
  • Make a plan of potential scenarios you may face; if you know ahead of time, you’ll be more prepared and less risk of being caught off guard.
  • Practice self care; December can be a busy month full of activities, so it’s important to set aside some time for just you.
  • If you struggle with loneliness or boredom, make a list of activities to help keep you busy and occupied.
  • Don’t take on too much; limit your responsibilities if you can and prioritize the important ones.
  • Avoid alcohol; alcohol can often be a trigger and can lead to relapse.

By implementing some of these tips, it may help the upcoming holidays a little less stressful. By being prepared, you may be able to handle the trigger that may rise and decrease the possibility of relapse. But of all else, remember this time only comes once a year, and by being prepared with a plan,  you may be able to find this season a bit more merry and bright.

If you have more questions or require more information about gambling support, call the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-306-6789