Holiday Stressors Posted On

The holiday season is a time for celebration and gathering. It is a time of joy when getting together with family and friends. However, it can also be a time of stress, especially if you are in recovery from a gambling problem. There may be certain stressors or triggers that give you the urge to gamble. During the holidays it is especially important to reflect on your pathway to recovery and how we are staying safe during the holidays.  

Our Family and Friends Can Help  

If you are in recovery the best thing to do is to know yourself. Know what triggers you and know what you should avoid, it may be a specific place or a behavior you recognize. Lean on your family and friends for support and be open with them about what they can do to support you during this time. By being transparent about the stress the holidays may cause, your support system can help guide you and keep you on track.  

Come Up With A Plan  

Being prepared can be a great asset to your recovery, think about the holidays and look for ways that you can plan to avoid your triggers or stressors.  

  • Financial Planning– You may know that handling money is a trigger for you. Have someone else handle the gift buying. If you need to buy gifts, set a budget, and don’t give yourself any extra cash.  
  • Set Rules on Family Gatherings – Ask that family members don’t gamble on family games. If there is a situation where you find gambling happening, remove yourself from the situation.  
  • Plan Ahead if Possible – You know yourself best. If you think there may be a triggering situation during the holidays, plan what you will do about it. It may not always be possible, but planning can take the stress out of the situation.  

Know your Resources  

Most importantly, know what resources are available to you. With the increase in technology, there are even more resources available to help you on your recovery path than ever before. If the holidays are a stressful time for you, make sure to take advantage of the resources that are out there.  

  • Clinicians – The holidays may be a good time to schedule an extra session with your clinician. If you have never had a clinician before and feel it may help you, the NYS Problem Gambling Resource Centers can help you find a therapist near you.  

Finding Support  

There are many resources available on Know the Odds. We encourage you to explore the site to find things that work for you. We have infographics, e-books, and videos. In addition, if you are looking for more resources, the NYS Problem Gambling Resource Centers can connect you to local supports.