Avoiding Holiday Triggers Posted On

For loved ones struggling with problem gambling, the stress of the holidays can be a trigger for gambling. Therefore, understanding their holiday triggers, and knowing ways to avoid, them is a great way to help them begin or maintain their recovery from problem gambling during the holiday season. 

Stress and Problem Gambling

Stress from the holidays can be overwhelming. Whether it’s the stress from finding the right gift, the stress of seeing family members, or the stress of being off a regular routine, it’s the stress that can trigger a relapse of problem gambling.   Although this is a time the family needs to get together to help make the holiday season a success, it may be a time to be a little more laid-back and lenient with your love one who’s struggling with problem gambling.  

You can help loved ones stay on track for recovery from problem gambling during the holiday season.  It’s important to know what the stress triggers can be, and how to plan ahead to keep the family on track to recovery.

 Finding The Holiday Triggers 

Triggers are anything that cause someone to gamble.  Triggers can include feelings like frustration and anger, hearing about gambling like the lottery or card games, and just being around people who are gambling.  To help your loved one beat the triggers, you need to know what the triggers are.

Have conversations with your loved one to understand their triggers. This is a great way to identify triggers.  Some triggers may not make sense to you, but know that everyone is different.  Try to stay positive and open about your loved one’s triggers because this will help keep the conversation rolling and learn about additional triggers.  The more you know, the more you can help.

Helping to Stay Safe

Avoiding triggers is a great way to stay safe. Once you start to understand your loved one’s triggers, you can begin to plan ways to avoid them.  Identifying conversations, people and locations to avoid can be a great way to keep your loved one on track to being safe from problem gambling.  For example, if your family regularly goes to locations where there’s gambling opportunities, maybe avoiding those locations by offering other places to go, or choosing to spend the holidays somewhere else, can be a great way to keep the family safe.

Plan ahead to keep the family safe.  It’s important to plan ahead because not all triggers can be avoided. Planning ahead isn’t difficult because we do it all the time.  We plan the meals, the gifts, and the travel ahead of time.  Identifying unavoidable triggers, and planning what to do when they occur is a great way to keep the family safe.  Some things to plan for may include overcrowded areas, seeing certain family members, and exposure to media about gambling.  

Leaning on resources 

There are many resources available to help those negatively affected by problem gambling. From awareness campaigns like KnowTheOdds.org, to identifying and getting referrals for help from the local Problem Gambling Resource Centers, help is there.  All you need to do is click and call!

You may want to start by looking at the signs of problem gambling.  There, you’ll be able to get an idea of whether or not gambling is a possible problem.  The simplest way to identify if your loved one struggles with problem gambling is to ask yourself this:

Does gambling cause problems for my loved one or our family?

If the answer is yes, then this person may be struggling with problem gambling.  Reach out for help and additional resources by contacting your local Problem Gambling Resource Center

Staying safe from triggers for problem gambling is important.  Hopefully, this article offered some helpful tips to helping your family feel safer to enjoy the holiday season together!