Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry

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How to Manage PTSD and Enjoy the Holidays

Post-traumatic stress disorder is something that should not be taken lightly especially when the holiday season approaches. Although most would look at the holidays as a season to unwind and relax, sometimes the stress required to cope and prepare for these days tend to put a strain, that and a lot of factors such as socialization and noises may affect people especially those with PTSD. Unfortunately, as much as everyone expects you to stay the same and be normal, your PTSD may not allow you to do that. In fact, it changes you to the point that the change is undesirable to these people who are firm with their agendas or simply does not understand what PTSD is at all.

However, there are still ways on how you can avoid PTSD stress over the holidays.

One of the best ways to do so is to set limits on how you plan ahead. That means you should not let yourself lose control of your balance in life. Furthermore, you should also not allow others to corner you especially during this season where you are supposed to be resting and relaxing. That’s why it is important for you to be able to plan on things especially when it involves going to family gatherings and social events. Choose on what events you should attend and not attend. Give yourself acceptable boundaries. It is for your own good after all.

If ever you have to attend but the situation is starting to make you feel uncomfortable to the point of an attack, make sure that you have an exit strategy. At least, this way you still have some sense of control over your situation. But as much as possible, learn to say no. No to things that are triggers for your PTSD. No to people who refuse to acknowledge that you are dealing with something. No to people that are toxic in your life. Sometimes you just need to accept that there will be moments that will have to leave the party early.

Finally, be yourself and don’t go about trying to please others. As much as we all want to give our best food forward, it is still difficult for those with PTSD to deal with their condition especially over the holidays simply because they want to please a certain number of people. This is something that should be corrected. You don’t have to be the center of attention, just be your laid-back self. This will give you less stress and more opportunity to enable you to relax and enjoy the party.

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