PTSD and the Holidays: Tips to Help You Through

Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can be difficult on a normal day. Adding in the stress of the holidays can cause PTSD suffers to deal with more episodes than normal. Learning how to manage your PTSD or how to help your family member living with this illness can make the holidays a little easier. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when the holidays approach. 

Triggers and Coping
PTSD suffers all have different triggers and pinpointing yours can help you to know when an attack is coming. You can have plans in place to avoid certain triggers of the attacks so that you can make your holiday time more enjoyable. You also should have coping plans and techniques in place to help you if you know that your triggers may be unavoidable during the celebrations. These could include deep breathing, relaxation techniques, or even stepping away from whatever the situation may be. 

Preparation and Acceptance
Prepare ahead of time before going to an event so that you can feel more relaxed. Talk to the hostess or host of the event and try to discover who all is coming, how many people are coming, and what the plan for the event is. Give yourself grace and be ready to accept that you may have to leave an event early. You need to allow yourself time to step away or leave entirely if you need to. 

Don't forget to create and utilize a support network, especially during these busy times. Talk with your therapist on ways you can learn to cope with PTSD during the holidays and tips you can use to enjoy the events to come. 

Reference
NA."Post Traumatic Stress Disorder During the Holidays".Health Central.(Website).2015

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