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Why The Holiday Season is Difficult for Survivors

How Survivors Can Get Support During the Holidays

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration for many people. But for those who have experienced trauma, the holidays can be difficult and triggering. There are a few reasons why the holidays may be especially tough for survivors. Here’s what you should know.

Why Triggers Can Be More Prevalent During the Holiday Season

The holidays are often a time when people are around family and friends. For many survivors, their perpetrator was someone close to them. This can make being around loved ones very difficult. In addition, the holidays can be a reminder of the trauma that occurred. Seeing holiday decorations or hearing holiday music can trigger memories of the abuse.

The holiday season can also be a time of increased stress. Financial stressors or family conflicts may exacerbate triggers, making it harder to cope with various emotions and other feelings.

How to Identify Triggers

Triggers are anything that can cause a person to relive their trauma. Triggers can be external, like seeing a holiday decoration, or internal, like feeling stressed. It is essential to be aware of your triggers to avoid them or be prepared to deal with them. Warning warning signs that you may be experiencing a trigger may include feeling anxious or on edge. You may also notice your heart racing or sweating more than usual. Other signs include trouble concentrating, flashbacks, and intrusive thoughts.

Ways to Manage Triggers During the Holiday Season

You can do a few things to manage triggers during the holiday season:

  1. Have a plan. It’s vital to have a plan in place. Talk to your therapist or a support group about how to best deal with triggers.
  2. Try to avoid triggering situations. It’s okay If you don’t want to be around family. If it alleviates your stress, consider spending the holidays with friends instead.
  3. Remove yourself when feeling triggered. When the stress and other instances are becoming increasingly challenging, it’s okay to step away and remove yourself from the situation without apologies.

Related Article: PTSD in Sexual Assault Survivors

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