Tips for Holiday survival

If you have Facebook follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/ptsd/holiday-traumatic-date-trauma-tips/915052671926830

In my opinion, if they put it on Facebook they want it shared.  So if you don’t have Facebook these are the tips from Erin Patterson at www.warriorslanding.ca

Holiday & Traumatic Date – Trauma Tips
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 reaction 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…
1. Knowledge is power and setting a reminder alarm each day during the weeks leading up to the event can empower you to prepare.
2. Consider revising this event whenever possible into something that is not a flashback or trigger.
3. When it is not possible and or the event signifies one that you must participate in, try to stay in the moment practice grounding techniques and other modalities that you have found helpful.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Maintain your privacy ~ Properly managing PTSD during anniversaries of traumatic events or holidays does not require you to explain this trauma response 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.
11. 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 !
12. Never let the fear of what other people think stop you from being yourself.
If at all possible do whatever you can to find a reason to laugh it is Incredible medicine, be kind to yourself and know you are loved.
Reminder – You can light up a pitch black room with one tiny candle but you can’t do the opposite.
PTSD HOME a Warrior’s Landing Trauma Advocacy Connection Network Initiative
Your support to keep the resources available and moving forward is greatly appreciated and will be directly reflected. www.warriorslanding.ca
My thoughts on these ideas:
1. Knowledge is power.  Learn what coping skills work and plan ahead as to which ones will work for the situation.
2. Change traditions or make news so that the triggers are avoided lessening the chances of flashbacks.
3. Wear really uncomfortable shoes…your feet hurt so much you can’t think of anything else…yes I did this for opening night of my Photo show.  I had to be there and I was terrified.
4. Stay distracted before hand.  Keeping myself busy with other stuff keeps me from making Alps out of hills.
5. This sounds like the opposite of 4 but my addition is plan this out with someone that does understand your challenges, counselor or sympathetic friend or family member.  Nothing wrong with enlisting help.  Warriors do not go into battle alone.
6. Also plan escape routes, time to leave, key words to partners that understand that signal an emergency exit.  Yup, kind of like planning a battle.
7. Have a time out space somewhere close by, an extra bedroom or outdoors where you can take a breather.
8. Pick and choose what works for you.  Remember if you say yes to someone else you are saying no to yourself.  You are worth protecting by setting boundaries.
9. Accept that you can’t do everything all at once.  It is a bummer.  However, better to pace yourself and attend part of it then to push too hard and end up missing everything.
11. Listening to your needs is an on going process.  Your body really does whisper first before screaming at you.  If you feel uncomfortable with someone or in a situation, LISTEN TO THAT FEELING.  Your spidey sense went off and is trying to warn you.
12. Most of the time other people are too busy worrying about themselves to think too much about you.  Recently I left an event immediately after it was over.  When I mentioned this later, nobody had noticed.
Planning, boundaries, self-care, grounding, team players, are all pieces that go together for your personal plan on how to enjoy a holiday.
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One thought on “Tips for Holiday survival

  1. Pingback: Holidays and Families | PTSD - Accepting, Coping, Thriving

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