Holidays: Triggers to Watch Out for This Holiday Season

Holidays: Triggers to Watch Out for This Holiday Season

One of the most central topics of discussion when it comes to addiction recovery is triggers, and this is because triggers can lead to lapse and relapse. When a person lapses, they revert back to the addictive behaviors they exhibited when their addiction was active. It’s one of the trickiest areas of recovery because a person has to learn over time what triggers cravings to use and what steps they need to take to prevent it. Even in recovery, life challenges will arise. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) highlights the fact that we need to take a more trauma-informed approach to recovery, especially during the holidays, because there are so many people who could be affected by critical events that are going on, such as:

  • Major conflicts within their family
  • Homelessness
  • Loneliness
  • And more

For so many years, movies and songs have given us this expectation that the holidays should be the happiest times of the year. Ads show pictures of happy families gathering around the dinner table, yet there are so many people who are unable to see family members or even have access to food. Addiction recovery requires that we’re especially cautious to how we’re feeling, as the holidays can bring up a lot of thoughts or feelings that can trigger a lapse or relapse. This holiday season check in with yourself, especially if you experience any of the following:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Anger
  • Extreme happiness
  • Loneliness
  • Sadness

Sometimes the holidays can remind us of what we don’t have, and this can lead to rumination or being down on ourselves. You must remember that holidays are just days, and they will come and go. So many other people are working hard this holiday season on their recovery, so you’re not alone – create a list of people you can call and a safe place that you go if you need to regain your balance and serenity. Focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t – it’s easy to compare ourselves to others, but the reality is that everyone is on their own unique journey, and there’s simply no way to compare; the trials and tribulations one individual faces may be completely different from what another person goes through.

Prep yourself up for the holidays by highlighting how far you’ve come. Remind yourself of the journey you’re on, and consider all the beautiful people and opportunities that have presented themselves to you up to this point.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.