Recovery from substance abuse or mental illness is an ongoing process. The holidays can present unique obstacles in the road to recovery which may trigger thoughts or emotions that are difficult to manage. Identifying triggers and preparing for them can help make these obstacles seem less powerful and can make maintaining a recovery program during the holidays more manageable. Triggers can be people, places, things, situations, smells or sounds that bring up negative thoughts or emotions. Identifying your own personal triggers will help to prepare you in how to overcome them. Ways to manage triggers include reducing stress, interacting with positive and supportive people, and going to a safe and healthy environment. Identify alternative activities to those activities during the holidays that may present triggers for you. Having a plan before a trigger occurs is a great way to maintain your success in recovery. Have a safe and happy holiday season!