Around this time of year most people are doing lots of spending. There is much planning to be made in regards to trips.
Family might be flying in from different states. For some, it may take a lot to really bring everyone together.
There are also many grocery store trips that will be made. Thanksgiving dinner is a tradition for most people. This is the season where people get together with their loved ones to carve a turkey, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Thanksgiving is a holiday where we should set out focus on the things in which we are most appreciative of. Whether it may be our jobs, the roof over our heads, the family we have or even the good health we are in. Thanksgiving is a holiday where many people all across the world show thankfulness and kindness.
Unfortunately thanksgiving is also a time where some big companies, such as casinos use the holidays to take advantage of those who struggle with gambling addictions.
Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season where people begin to splurge so most casinos use this as a way to entice and target people to come spend their money with them for incentives.
Although the temptation might be seemingly irresistible, the action of stepping back into the gambling lifestyle may push a problem gambler right back into a spiral of addictive behaviors.
Thankfully, we’ve included ways casinos use promotions to tempt the public, and an easy guide to focusing on the holidays to block out any triggering promotions that casinos display this season.
Incentives Casinos Use
Aside from casinos many tactics use to lure the public in (Read:http://smartiopforgambling.com/addiction/do-casinos-enable-the-pathological-gambler/), they implement more enticing prizes and winnings around the holidays in hope that more people will come and spend their cash there with them instead.
So the normal tactics in which casinos generally use are the crazy and colorful designed carpets, these are not by accident. They are all part of the plan to keep you feeling as if you are enjoying yourself. Also, all of the bright lights and the repetitive noises, these are all aesthetically pleasing for most people.
In an example casinos create a sense of arcade and playground like an adult chuck-e-cheese’s.
Around the holidays casinos have “deals” they toss out to the public these most often look like these examples listed:
- Swipe your Club Card at any kiosk from 10am – 6pm and win up to $1000 in FREEplay!
- Gold Club members must earn a minimum of 25 tier slot points to participate.
- Our casino will be giving out $15,000 in cash, gift cards and free slot play on Black Friday.
- Every hour from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Reward members will have the chance to win $300 in free slot play, plus if present, a $200 Macy’s gift card.
- At 9:00 p.m., one lucky winner will win $5,000 in cash.
- Free dinner for 2 when you win $50 at any slot machine.
- Free car to one lucky winner. Every $20 bet is a chance for you to enter. Enter as many as 200 times!!
Although, reading these most people could recognize that you would still be spending your own money in hopes to win, inside of the mind of a problem gambler, they see chances to increase their current financial position. This is Clever in the sense of marketing how well casinos prey on the weak.
They create a facade to a person who maybe has only a couple hundred and builds up the idea of them having the opportunity to double or even triple what they bet. This creates a desire for most problem gamblers, to keep going until they win big.
Unfortunately in most cases they will lose all they had to begin with before they even come to grips with the reality they have just been hustled.
Understanding that the casinos use holidays to trigger addicts and those who are in recovery with exciting gifts and deals, just might be the key to helping you stay away from dangerous relapsing situations.
Here is a small list of tips to steering clear of diving into gambling this holiday season. Hopefully by sticking to this plan you’ll only be diving into a delicious turkey dinner!
Trust Your Gut
Often times, we experience this “intuition” when we are faced with something that we are not too sure of. We get an uneasy feeling about the situation, no matter what it is. Something being said or done, or maybe just being somewhere, but then comes that sensation of “this isnt right”, and of course that’s where the saying “trust your gut” comes from.
When given a situation you do not feel confident about you should listen to that feeling and exit the situation immediately. As an addict, you are more in touch with those familiar feelings and should learn to recognize and identify when you’re in a high risk situation.
You might feel like gambling during the holidays is “harmless” because it was just this once, However, you should not engage in behaviors that have previously triggered a full blown addiction for you.
Do not go against what you are feeling if something is telling you “get out”, the n that is precisely what you must do to stay true to your successful recovery during this holiday season.
Holiday season is busy as it is, it is wise to build an itinerary for you and your loved ones. Perhaps sticking to a schedule might possibly help you distract any urges you might encounter with casinos and other gambling outlets pushing out promotions.
Having things planned will make it easier to stick to a schedule and avoid relapsing, here are some ideas of things to do during thanksgiving with family and friends:
- Black Friday shopping. Even if you are not spending much money, the excitement of waiting in line for doorbusters and rushing to the sales is memorable and quiet fun.
- Thanksgiving buffet dinner. Although not the traditional dinner, this is actually a pretty interesting take on tradition, with no kitchen time required from you or your loved ones, there is more time for you all to bond and spend quality time.
- Exploring, Depending on your area, this might be a fun option. Hiking is a great way to get exercise and get outdoors and bond with friends and family over exploring trails.
- Volunteering. Giving back is a perfect way to express thankfulness during the holidays. Serving at your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter could be a reminder of how much you have to be grateful for.
- Browse through old photo albums. reminiscing on old memories is the easiest way to reconnect and bond with your loved ones during the holiday. Also, adding to the photo album could be a fun activity to add. Having a mini photoshoot and capturing the moments that are being created.
These are simple yet very fulfilling ideas to plan with your friends and family. If you’re busy with entertaining and hosting a scheduled itinerary you’ll have less time feeling pressure or temptations to gamble. You will be enjoying the holidays as you should be rather than stepping backwards into a spiral of issues that follow gambling addiction.
Your loved ones will appreciate the time you took to plan such a fun trip for the holidays and they will be be thankful for you. You will be thankful you fought the urge to gamble and be proud of yourself for following through with your recovery.
Avoid High Risk Situations
Sometimes when family and friends are visiting they want to take a step outside of their every day to day lives. They might be stuck behind a desk all day or serving others as means to support themselves, and the holidays are a perfect little getaway for them.
They often find vacation a way to have guilt free spending and because they save and have budgeted to spend they do not experience any of the shoppers remorse afterwards. However, this may be an event you might just have to sit out.
Ask your friends and family if you could all find another way to enjoy the time away from their regular everyday lives and celebrate the holidays with you perhaps spending another way that is not detrimental you your road to recovery.
Your loved ones will understand and respect that you are taking accountability for your addiction and see the changes you are making by following a safety guide to avoid relapse.
Gambling addiction is real issue, and unfortunately, healing is a rigorous road to recovery but it is possible. By seeking help when you need it you are taking action in taking control of your life. This holiday season take back your control over gambling.
Be thankful you didn’t give in and rejoice with your loved ones. Have a wonderful thanksgiving!
Around this time of the year, many people are overjoyed and celebrating the many festivities to be had.
Families and friends are all gathered together, visiting and sharing memories.
The holidays are perfect for cooking a hot meal, making some drinks and playing some games. Everyone seems to quickly be filled with happiness and harmony.
It is the most wonderful time of the year. For some, however, the holidays can often become, unfortunately, one of the biggest triggering seasons in a problem gamblers entire year.
I sure bet you’re wondering how?
Well, its simple, good food is cooked, memories are beginning to be made, games are being played and occasionally it adds to the event of fun by placing bets upon games for winnings.
In most cases, this is just good ole’ fun and family bonding.
This could actually target a recovering gambling addiction into a relapse of their retired habit.
Here are just a few ways you can be triggered:
• Seemingly harmless games such as Poker and other friendly card games.
• Some family and friends might give away Scratch-off tickets as gifts to loved ones.
• Popular holiday sports events may provide opportunities to place bets on predicted winners and outcomes.
• The holiday season is the usual time in which many individuals take trips and vacations. These resorts and other destinations provide very unique gambling options.
Unfortunately, there are many more triggering situations that can cause problem gamblers to feel the urge to bet their money and begin to spend on gambling.
If you or someone you know is in recovery from a gambling addiction, you must avoid gambling “triggers” in order for your recovery to continue successfully. Even the slightest indulgence can offset your entire journey of progress if the goal is to fully and honestly recover and control your addiction.
Avoiding Holiday Gambling Addiction Triggers
What are some gambling triggers?
These are the reasons or circumstances that most often have or still may cause you to gamble.
Whether your most common way of gambling is by purchasing lottery tickets, or going to different types of casinos. Perhaps partaking in online gambling such as slots for example, or possibly another method.
Gambling triggers often sprout from emotional triggers. Such as anger and frustration to circumstances such as being around people who are gambling.
Just the exposure to the excitement of others gambling. A problem gambler may get a sense of adrenaline just thinking about gambling. Thus, resulting in fighting the urge to gamble to become decreased.
Which ultimately, can interfere with their full recovery. Or even push a gambling addict back into their addiction altogether with.
What Can You Do?
During the holidays, there are many options for gambling addicts to steer clear of temptation! Here are a few tips to get your through.
If you or someone you know is a recovering gambling addict, you may have already put someone else in charge of your finances. This is a key component to a successful recovery.
Having to budget and plan expenses, helps avoid the urge of senseless spending or betting.
If you are at all concerned about yours or someone else urges to gamble during the holidays, make sure you (or they) do not have any sort of access to a surplus of funds or any significant amounts of cash.
This could raise temptation to spend or to gamble during the holidays.
Family Gathering Decisions
Request that your family and friends could please refrain from gambling when playing any sort of games together during this holiday season.
As we all know, a good old fashion card game can be enjoyable. Although, for some placing “bets” on ones winnings might be fun, card games can also be fun without the transfer of money or other types of material goods.
It would probably be in your best interest to refrain from playing these games at all. This will avoid you being reminded of, or triggered by, your past gaming activity. Not to mention, the feelings associated with any sort of wins and losses.
In addition, a request that no gambling occurs while you’re present will allow others to play without posing any immediate danger to you or your loved one’s addiction.
Avoid Dangerous Gifts
As the holiday season draws near, many people are scrambling about trying to come up with the best holiday gift ideas.
For those who give cards, or stuff stockings, sometimes it seems easy, and harmless, to throw in a scratch-off, but “harmless” is absolutely not the case.
Offering scratch-offs could lead to a future of addictions. This is concerning to adolescents as well as and not limited to adults. Underage gambling places our youth at risk to struggle with an addiction disguised as traditional, which creates a harder to break the habit.
Similar to the above passage, the request to our friends and family members that there be no holiday gifts that come in the from of cash or scratch-off tickets.
Both of these types of gifts could possibly trigger the urge to spend on gambling even if it may be “just this once”.
Unfortunately, this action can spiral into the return of a far more serious gambling addiction.
Avoiding Stress During The Holidays
The holidays are meant to bring joy as family and friends come together to celebrate, reminisce, and create new memories.
Although the holidays are a joyous time, many people struggle with stress and anxiety as the holidays approach. Though stress is not good for anyone, stress is especially dangerous for people in recovery.
This stress may lead a person, in recovery, into a relapse.
To continue on the path of recovery, and enjoy the holidays with less stress, below are some options for dealing with this, seemingly, inevitable stressful time.
As you read through these options, remember, not all methods work for everyone at a given time. There are a variety of stress relieving activities listed below as options.
Every person, and every situation is different.
• Healthy Eating
Know Who You Are
Think to yourself about what things initially caused you to gamble before your recovery. Remember why you have chosen to walk away from the life of a gambling addiction.
Implement any skills and tools you’ve learned while on your road to recovery. Make sure your behaviors and habits do not change during the holiday season.
You or your loved one must avoid anything that may trigger gambling impulses.
This may mean monitoring your alcohol intake, or turning down vacation day trips to casinos with friends. Make sure no extra vacation time causes you any feelings of boredom or loneliness.
Remaining honest with yourself will be the ultimate key to maintaining your new recovered life after a gambling addiction.
When you feel the urge to gamble, think about the circumstances. Ask yourself:
What am I feeling right now?
Is it stress, frustration or anger? What is making you want to gamble? How can you deal with these feelings without gambling?
What can you do to cope with stressful or frustrating situations, and how can you manage your anger without placing a bet?
Or could it be happiness that is making you want to gamble? It is not uncommon for gambling to be used as a method to celebrate and can also be socialization for many people.
Unfortunately for most people, emotions impact and drive many of our decisions.
As you identify what emotions cause you to want to gamble, you may need to seek advice from counselors or other recovering problem gamblers.
It’s always a good idea to find alternate ways of managing feelings so that you can keep your own recovery on track.
What is the environment I am in right now?
You have to ask yourself and be honest. Are you in a place where gambling is encouraged? Are you surrounded by people who are gambling?
There will be times that you will have to remove yourself from a setting that may be disruptive to your recovery.
Whether it’s deciding not to visit the casino with friends or choosing to not participate in a workplace gambling pool, avoiding each one of these triggers can and will keep your recovery safe.
Know Where To Find Help
This holiday season doesn’t need to be left hanging. Know where to obtain any assistance desired or needed immediately.
You do not have to feel alone. Your recovery is very important! By taking the appropriate steps in the right direction, it might be just the thing to save you from a set back upon your recovery.
As you prepare for this holiday season, make sure you know exactly where you can find help if you or a loved one are bothered by a strong urge to gamble again.
Keep in mind that the hours that local counselors and treatment centers may vary during the holiday season. Be sure to secure that you will have assistance accessible just in case of an emergency.
If you need help to keep from gambling and to maintain on your journey to recovery and success, call 833-810-8001 immediately!Learn More
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
- You’ve been feeling low or irritable for most of the day, every day for two weeks or more. You might have found yourself worrying about past or future events for long periods of time, or simply feeling sad, cross or tearful. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize a gradual change – have others noticed that you don’t seem your usual self?
- You’ve lost interest in activities that you used to enjoy. Perhaps you have been seeing less of your friends or family recently, have stopped going to the gym, or cooking balanced meals. This is really about recognizing changes in what’s normal for you – no one is saying you have to exercise five times a week or eat your greens, but changes in your routine can offer concrete indications that your mood is changing.
- You are struggling to concentrate. You might notice that you struggle to focus when reading or watching television, for example, or to follow the thread of a spoken conversation. This could be affecting your performance at work, or limiting your ability to perform routine tasks such as food shopping. Again, we are looking for a change in what’s normal for you, so if concentration has always been something you find tricky there is little cause for concern.
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
– Robert Frost