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Wednesday, 17 December 2014 14:49

Helping a loved one with PTSD over the Christmas season

Helping your loved one with PTSD over the Christmas Season.

  1. Talk in advance with your partner, family and friends about what situations he/she may  find challenging. Come up with an agreement about what activities or tasks are a ‘must do’ versus a ‘nice to do’ and prioritise accordingly.
  • Try to keep him/her usual, helpful routine and stress management strategies going as much as possible, for example exercise, meditation, golf, sleep hygiene, relaxation and pleasant activities.
  • Help him/her to regularly monitor their Subjective Units of Distress (SUDS) on a scale of 1-10; ( one being the most calm you’ve ever felt, 10 being the most distressed you’ve ever felt) .  Know about how they can be  proactive and keep their SUDS to a manageable level. 
  • Create some coping statements. Help  prepare statements to motivate them before, during and after an event or stressor to help get them through it.  For example, they could practice statements like:, “I can cope; it’ll be okay; just breathe.”
  • Have a safe word or phrase they can use to let yoju know it is 'too much'
  • Have a ‘ready to go’ response to unwanted questions. Give them phrases to follow up their response with a question for others, to take the pressure off them. For example, “Yep, we’re good; getting there. What about you? What’ve you been up to?”
  • Use  apps regularly. Good ones to refer to are the ‘PTSD Coach’ app and ‘Mindfulness Coach’ app. Refer to their tips on how to manage symptoms and track their progress over time.
  • Moderate your alcohol use. There’s usually more alcohol around during the holidays but try and stick to your goals. Refer to the ‘On Track’ app for some good insights and healthy drinking tips to get them through the holidays.
  • Let them know they can speak to you and you can be  trusted  about how they are coping and open your mind to other possible strategies and approaches they find useful in similar situations.
  • Take a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for in your life and what’s really important to you. What are the good things about this time of year that you do appreciate? Perhaps it’s the warmer weather, the beach, summer fruits, or the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones.
  • Take care of YOU the Carer.
  • Read 2710 times Last modified on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 15:20