If you are wondering why you have difficulty surrounding holidays and/or anniversaries of traumatic dates – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
These dates can creep up on us and without realizing it often weeks or more before, the trauma Injury side effects appear and intensified.
Our conscious minds do not necessarily assist us in connecting these dots given our subconscious most certainly does not want to remember. But cell memory wins…
Knowledge is power and setting a reminder alarm each day during the weeks leading up to the event can empower you to prepare.
Consider revising this event whenever possible into something that is not a flashback or trigger.
When it is not possible and or the event signifies one that you must participate in, try to stay in the moment practice breathing techniques and other modalities that you have found helpful.
Try to stay in the moment in any event : try not to think ahead, sometimes even the thought of being around people who don’t understand your state of mind, is enough to bring on a surge of anxiety. Know it is perfectly normal not to want to be around anyone at all.
Strategize ~ Decide in advance who you want to see if you do and who you don’t. what you will do and what you won’t. Plan out your activities so you spend the most time with people who are good for you and minimize contact with everyone else.
Have an escape plan ~ you can’t always anticipate how you’re going to feel and who’s going to say or do what affects you. Have a backup plan so that if you need to make a quick getaway you have an out.
Take Time out ~ It is important to plan in advance or be prepared to take down times to decompress. It’s best to decide in advance how that will work best.
Do What feels most comfortable ~ It’s ok for you to say “NO” pick and choose what you want to participate in and then draw the line. Setting boundaries in respect to others expectations is very important.
Pace yourself ~ If you feel overwhelmed , slow down. It’s better to break plans than to follow through with them when you feel you are walking into a situation you don’t want to be in. When you feel you are reaching your limit pull back and don’t feel guilty about it.
Maintain your privacy ~ Properly managing PTSD during anniversaries of traumatic events or holidays does not require you to explain this trauma injury or the cause or justify your feelings to everyone you know. It’s alright to decline an invitation without giving a full explanation as to why. Certainly share your reason with people you trust and love, but for others a simple, “NO” thank you,” is enough.
Do what feels right for you In every moment follow your intuition. Your own inner voice knows what you need, and how and when listen to it. Be kind to yourself and keep your own inner voice in check, healing takes time and this challenging warrior path you are on is not easy, we know this.
We are in this together so ~ You’re not alone we are here 24/7 Shine On Trauma Warrior !
Never let the fear of what other people think stop you from being yourself.
I have used all of these strategies…..sometimes we try to find just one answer. Different skills become useful for different situations.