Holiday cocoa with marshmallows and a sweaterThe holidays are officially here. For most, this time of the year means togetherness, bright lights, and holiday cheer. There’s only one problem: You can’t seem to find any of that this year.

You want nothing more than to be alone, because that’s how you feel. Flashbacks and traumatic memories may constantly circle in your head preventing you from mustering up even an ounce of holiday cheer.

Here’s how the holidays can trigger emotional trauma and hope to cope with it all.

How Can the Holidays Trigger Emotional Trauma?

People all over the world are counting down the days until the winter solstice holidays.

The expectations that the holidays bring can actually bring on feelings of emotional trauma. You may feel like you have to think, feel, or act a certain way during this time of year. This can leave you feeling more stressed and anxious and can even fuel feelings of depression during a time of year that’s meant to be cheerful.

How to Cope With Triggers During the Holidays

Certain smells, sounds, people, or places can make you feel like you’re not emotionally safe or secure — a lot of triggers can occur surrounding the holidays. If you’re feeling down this time of year, you’re not alone. Let’s look at some ways you can cope with emotional trauma during the holidays.

Practice Self-Care

Woman standing outside on deck with warm drink in handSince the holidays are all about giving and being thankful, you may feel bad about putting yourself first. Don’t! During stressful times, it’s essential that you focus on yourself and your needs. You can’t expect to fill someone else’s cup if yours is empty, right?

The holidays can leave you feeling emotionally and physically drained, so you have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Do the things that bring you joy. Go for a walk outside, read a book, listen to some music. Whatever makes you happy, get after it.

Set Boundaries

Boundaries are essential for all healthy relationships. The holidays usually mean spending time with loved ones, but it’s okay if you need a little alone time and space. Set your boundaries and make sure you stick to them.

Have an idea in mind of how long you want to visit with family and leave when the time is up. It’s okay to have an emergency strategy, too. It’s important that you feel safe and respected. Family time may bring on a lot of unwanted opinions, so if you do feel unsafe or disrespected, it’s okay to excuse yourself and go home. Your boundaries will protect your overall mental health and wellness.

Seek Additional Support

Friend with hand on friend's shoulderDealing with this time of the year may seem challenging. Just because it’s challenging doesn’t mean it’s impossible to handle or has to be a miserable experience each year. You can and will get through this. The good news is that you don’t have to, nor should you be expected to go through this all on your own.

Your trusted friends and confidants are there if you need a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to, or if you’re seeking advice. They are there for you through the good times and the bad. Tell them what you need and they’ll be there for you just like you would be for them if and when they need it.

If you feel like you don’t want to be a burden to them or don’t feel comfortable talking to them about this topic, help is still available to you.

A therapist can work with you to determine any triggers and ways to help you cope. Reach out to me today to set up a consultation.

Click here to learn more about trauma therapy services in Delray Beach, FL and Sandy Springs, GA.