6 Self-Care Essentials for PTSD Sufferers

If you suffer from PTSD, you may be seeking relief from the intrusive thoughts, feelings, and memories that can often plague you.

All too often, PTSD can negatively impact relationships, make you feel numb inside, and cause sleeping difficulties.

Even though it can be hard at times, there are ways to care for yourself so that you can feel more like the you you want to be.

Try a few of these self-care essentials to see what is helpful for you.


1. Focus on Your Breath

Your breath is one thing that you typically don’t control.

You’re alive, and so you do it. But in the middle of a stressful situation that triggers your PTSD, you may find yourself holding your breath.

This only intensifies the stress and allows the cortisol to build in your body. A Tricare accepted rehab facility can help you learn how to focus on your breath and bring your awareness to how it can help soothe you.

Many sufferers have found that slow breaths to a count of four or five help manage PTSD flare-ups.


2. Use Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques are things you can do to stay rooted in the present and connect you to yourself.

Something as simple as describing your surroundings or as detailed as the 5-4-3-2-1 method can be a big help when you feel like you’re in the middle of a crisis.


3. Keep a Journal

Journaling is a way to get your feelings out and help you find peace.

Whether you’re guilting yourself for what happened in the past, feeling on edge, or having overwhelming feelings of anger or shame, taking time to write it down can help you acknowledge those feelings, observe them, and let them pass.

In time you’ll learn how to identify the patterns and triggers that give way to your PTSD. And if you’re really observant, you’ll see the early warning signs and possibly avoid stressful situations.


4. Positive Self-Talk

You need to be kind and gentle with yourself.

Reminding yourself that you’re safe when your PTSD triggers avoidance, self-blaming, and flashbacks is reassuring to many people. You can also give yourself positive affirmations to reinforce your worth and importance and boost your morale.

Going over the things you’re grateful for can be greatly beneficial in giving yourself and your state of mind some much-needed attention and care.


5. Stay Present

Staying present is a key part of managing PTSD symptoms.

When you’re amid an intrusive memory, it’s helpful to find things in the present moment to remind you that you’re safe.

This could be holding an object, focusing on a picture, purposefully relaxing your body one part at a time starting from your toes, meditating, working out, and practicing gratitude.


6. Comfort Yourself

When you find yourself experiencing a flashback or going down a darker path than you care to be on, it’s okay to take some time to comfort yourself.

Comforting yourself looks different for everyone, but some things people tend to find solace in include a weighted blanket, spending time with a pet/support animal, engaging in a hobby or something creative, or listening to soothing music or sounds.

Do what helps you find peace and comfort.

Indeed, PTSD is extremely uncomfortable at times and can wreak havoc in your life.

But when you’ve got great tools in your emotional toolkit to better manage your mental health, you’ll be better prepared the next time your PTSD shows up.