As we are all preparing for the holidays I thought it was important to talk about managing trauma symptoms & triggers during the holidays. The holidays can be challenging for many reasons but when you have experienced trauma & even the lose of loved ones, it can be even more emotionally challenging.
The 1st holiday season after we lost our house fire was extremely challenging. We often had people over for bbqs, birthdays & holidays. We always had a pumpkin carving party before Halloween, hosted family over Thanksgiving & Christmas & threw a New Year's party that including lots of laughing & dancing. Here we were back in 2011 & we had no house to do any of that. We grieved that 1st holiday season. I cried when making my grandmother's stuffing to bring to the neighbor's as I was not only missing her but was missing cooking in my house. Our neighbors became our extended family. They started hosting the pumpkin carving party that we loved having. They invited our entire family over for Thanksgiving which is where we go every year. We starting going to our favorite Italian Restaurant in town, Volpi's for birthdays, Christmas Eve & birthdays.
We created new traditions & plans. We found homes away from home. We still cherished our memories but we created new ones. We also had to give each other space if we were sad. My husband & I tried to stay upbeat as we adjusted to our new reality.
Our house is still being rebuilt. I am happy to say it is almost done. We had our 1st Christmas Tree last year & are now planning our 1st Tree Trimming Party since we lost the house. We have had houseguests this summer & fall. We feel more hopeful & excited each day. We still get triggered but we both focus on the positive & on what we have.
Please prepare yourself for the holidays & remember self-care is key. I have included a couple of articles on managing trauma triggers during the holidays.