For you or anyone else spending time with family and friends over the holidays can be fun, but the flurry of festivities can also add stress. This is particularly true for someone with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
If you or a family member has PTSD, it does not have to negatively impact the holidays. There are healthy ways to cope and manage stress.
Here are a list of tips that can help you manage your PTSD symptoms over this holiday season:
Make a list of your favorite coping tools that you can use for different types of situations. Keep them on hand, in the event something triggers you.
Create a playlist of music that you can listen to when you are stressed.
Make a folder of favorite photos. Look through them to take your mind off what is stressing you.
Write a list of the reasons you want to change your habits or reactions. They help motivate you.
Set time limits for activities that are difficult for you.
Reward yourself for your hard work with a healthy activity.
Reach out for support if you need it. Know who you can rely on for help. If your symptoms of PTSD are getting worse or you feel down, reach out to your provider or call the crisis line.
If you know someone with PTSD, there are things you can do to make sure the holiday season is pleasant and enjoyable for everyone:
Educate yourself: Read about PTSD Symptoms, and how PTSD affects your loved one.
Talk to your family member about what they need to feel comfortable during the holidays. If your loved one needs services, call Coaching into Carefor advice in talking to them about treatment.
Keep important resources at hand, such as the Veterans Crisis Line, a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.