|Self-care for PTSD is vital!|
Sometimes things start to feel almost unbearable. There is so much going on in the world today and then to be a PTSD survivor on top of it all. Your brain is very different from those around you and if you're also empathic to any degree you may really be struggling. This is why I think it's important to take a moment this week to talk about a much lighter subject... Self-care.
According to the online dictionary, self-care is defined as
The practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
You've probably heard of a lot of great ways in which you can practice self-care for PTSD, but I hope to introduce you to some new ones here.
It seems that one of the most highly recommended tips when it comes to self-care for PTSD is journaling. Probably one of the reasons that it comes so highly recommended is that there are a multitude of different types of journaling you can do. This includes:
- Writing a poetry journal
- Bible journaling: This one needs a bit more understanding. It actually borders on art therapy (which we'll talk about later) because you're actually drawing or coloring in your Bible. They do make special Bibles for this so you don't cover up the words and you can still use your Bible.
- Keeping a bullet journal: Here you create bullet points to keep track of things like scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming, and other entries into your journal.
- Creating a journal full of self affirmations: This is a way of speaking gently to yourself so you can transform your negative thinking and be both nicer and more positive with yourself.
Clearly there's something here for almost everyone. This is good news because journaling can truly benefit you in numerous ways, including:
- It's important that you don't suppress any thoughts related to you trauma because doing so isn't helpful. In fact, research shows that such suppression can lead to compromised immune infunction such as what I have with adrenal fatigue.
- Journaling isn't only about venting. It's also about expressive writing. This will help you to better cope with your anxiety and anger since the act of journaling has been shown to reduce body tension and restore mental focus.
- When you're journaling you're giving yourself time to try to interpret your experiences. Just make sure that you don't repeat the same negative narrative. Research has actually shown that when you write a lot about yourself (especially using “I” references) combined with the words “because," “realize,” or “understand," you'll reap more benefits from your journaling. This is because you're actively interpreting what has happened to you in the past and incorporating it into the overarching narrative of your life. This not only helps to reduce stress, but is also beneficial for your overall health.
- You can also use your journaling to help you find positive meaning to the trauma you've experienced. This in no way means that what you've experienced is good, but you can become stronger and more resilient because of it. The key is to train yourself to watch for those positive things that emerge from your trauma - even if you're only noticing the positive impacts that journaling has on your mind and body. When you're working through anything particularly intense make sure you have qualified, therapeutic support available to you.
When you are looking for a great way to relieve stress and anxiety that also promotes healing and reactivates your positive emotions, self-worth, and self-esteem, you should consider art therapy. This is important for those who have PTSD because they need to be able to express their emotions as they work through processing their trauma. Art is beneficial here many ways, including:
- People with PTSD are able to start expressing their emotions and processing the trauma they've been through. Sometimes this is easier than using words and it also feels safer too.
- Over the years art therapy has been proven to help reduce the symptoms of stress. When this happens it will ultimately improve your quality of life.
- When you have depression that's co-morbid with your PTSD life can seem quite bleak at times. With art therapy you may find your symptoms of depression are reduced and your cognitive functioning improved. In therapy this can help you to externalize, verbalize, and resolve memories of your trauma.
|When it comes to self-care for PTSD, try diamond art painting!|
One of the best types of art therapy that I've discovered for myself is what's known as diamond art painting. Think of it sort of like paint by number but with beads. The reason I like it so much is it encourages you to stay present in the moment. There are many different designs and price ranges available for you to choose from so check it out for yourself today.
|A list of self-care tips for PTSD|
Let's face it, who doesn't feel better when they spend some time in nature? Neurobiologists don't necessarily agree on what constitutes nature though — whether it's a city park, a national park, or somewhere in the untouched wilderness. This is why when doctors suggest spending time in nature, they can't tell you how much therapeutic benefit you’ll get in return. However, one thing is for sure, even practicing mindfulness while watching nature scapes on YouTube can help you to feel better. If you don't believe me, spend a few minutes watching this one.
Now that you've accepted and completed my challenge, don't you feel calmer? This is because nature has a way of restoring us. Regardless of how traumatized you may be, nature is a critical component in the healing process.
Candles and Aromatherapy
Whether you enjoy burning scented candles or you prefer to use aromatherapy, certain scents have been proven to be beneficial when it comes to self-care for PTSD. This is because certain smells are known to help:
- Relieve depressive symptoms
- Relieve stress
- Boost your mood
Two of the best scents to try here include:
- Lavender: This is well-known for helping with relaxation and sleep (both falling asleep faster and having more restful sleep) but it also reduces your heart rate.
- Vanilla: This is a soothing scent, which is why so many perfume-makers really like using it in their products. However, what most people don't realize is that vanilla has sedative effects that help promote stress relief and relaxation by reducing hyperactivity and restlessness.
- Day At The Spa, Island Coconut, and The Garden will all pair nicely with Nature Scapes to give you a relaxing, 3D experience.
I personally enjoy the candles and wax melts that Ritza Life sells because not only are they high quality, but they're also quite inexpensive. Oftentimes I'll burn one during therapy or while watching a nature scape. They help to ground me so that I feel better. If you haven't already tried this, I encourage you to do so.
|Start feeling better today with self-care for PTSD|
Hopefully you've found something new here that you can try... Something that will help you in some small way. I know not everything works for everyone but I encourage you to try to find something that helps you relax and take care of yourself.
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