Post Traumatic Stress Disorder routines are crucial for the progress of one’s recovery if they suffer the symptoms of PTSD. Life is even harder when there is no routine. Lacking a regimen in the chaotic day-to-day for one who suffers from PTSD will make each day more of a struggle. Experts say that stability is the first step to PTSD recovery. Each person’s journey is different but putting into place some normalcy will enrich the life of your loved one. Because each day has many unexpected experiences, developing PTSD routines that work for your loved one is key. However, too many changes at once could do more harm than.
Keep in mind not to overwhelm your loved on suffering from PTSD because that could send them into a hellacious episode. Remember; baby steps. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. There may not be any routine in their life currently. Discussing a routine and what they are comfortable with is a great place to start. PTSD routines include morning, afternoon, evening, and night-time activity. Start small and begin discussing the morning.
A morning routine is the best place to start. Currently you may notice that your loved one suffering PTSD symptoms sleeps more during the day light hours since nights are hardest. Night time is most likely the hardest time for them due to nightmares, paranoia, and insomnia. They may be waking up at various hours in the morning and not doing much due to the fear of exposure to possible triggers. Again, start small. Too many changes at once will overwhelm your loved one. When I first learned the benefits of creating PTSD routines, my husband and I went over-board and it caused more harm than good. Add three tasks to a routine every two weeks. Eventually these tasks will become habit.
My husband did not have many habits and that hurt his recovery for almost a year. My husband struggled with waking up, brushing his teeth, and showing regularly during early diagnosis. Try to remember that they have to keep themselves accountable. You cannot possible do everything for them. Therefore my husband and I also learned this the hard way. Unfortunately there is not a book out there to prepare you for EVERYTHING expected within PTSD. Start a morning routine with choosing a time to wake up, shower, and brush teeth.
PTSD Routines -Tasks to Add Every Two Weeks
You should add to your new PTSD routines and activities every couple of weeks. Feel free to use this list or modify it to fit your loved one’s needs the best. There is no specific order in which to add to your loved one’s morning routine. Grab a pen and paper and list out tasks that suit your specific life and situation. No PTSD sufferer is the exact same. This list is for a man who suffers from PTSD symptoms. It may benefit you to adopt a few of these activities into your own routine in the morning.
- Eat Breakfast
- Get dressed
- Feed pets
- Walk pets outdoors (if applicable, you probably wouldn’t take your gold-fish on a walk 🙂 )
- Take medications (if applicable)
- Eat or take vitamins
- Household Chores
- Read positive affirmations
- View encouraging quotes
- Look over that day’s calendar of events (Dr. appointments, therapy, support group virtual and in person, etc)
- Take children to school or walk them to the bus stop (if applicable)
Start with three tasks and build from there. In just a few short weeks you will notice a huge difference in your loved one. They will feel more stable and positive. Furthermore don’t forget to take care of yourself too. You cannot care for anyone else until you first care for yourself. Think of an enriching routine for yourself if you do not already have one. What could you change in your routine to better care for yourself? What could be added to encourage a better version of yourself?
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