How vets with PTSD can stay stress-free during the holidays

Kenneth H. Young CD and Sylvain Chartrand posted a link on Facebook to the following press release that provides seven tips for keeping yourself together over the holidays if you suffer from PTSD. At the bottom of the press release is a link to the original website of the “healing” coach, which I am adding to our blogroll. BONNIE

PRLog (Press Release)Dec 03, 2010 – December 03, 2010 – Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms typically increase during the holiday season. For survivors struggling with symptoms of PTSD the added pressures of family gatherings, social events and the holiday atmosphere can intensify anxiety and make the month of December a time filled with more nightmares, panic attacks, insomnia, emotional numbing, hypervigilance and hyperarousal. There are, however, simple, no-cost actions anyone with posttraumatic stress can take to alleviate the pressure.

According to Michele Rosenthal, founder of  “The best way to manage PTSD symptoms and holiday stress is to plan in advance. Don’t wait to find yourself reeling from an incident. Being aware of and organized about your experience can make any holiday season more easy to manage.”

Rosenthal suggests the following seven tips:

1 – Stay in the moment; don’t think ahead. Keep yourself present TODAY rather than upping the anxiety ante by imagining what some future day will be like. (Actually, this is a good practice year round!)

2 – Strategize your holidays. Decide in advance who you want to see, and who you don’t; what you will do, and what you won’t; where you will go and where you won’t. Plan your activities so that you spend the most time with people who are good for you and minimize contact with everyone else.

3 – 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.

4 – Incorporate alone time. In the hustle and bustle of holidays it’s helpful to carve out time when you can decompress. Decide in advance when that will be, and stick to it so that you have built in periods of downtime to regroup.

5 – Do what feels comfortable. Family and friends can really get going in a whirling dervish of plans and activities during the holiday season. It’s okay for you to say, “No!”. Pick and choose what you want to participate in and then draw the line. There’s nothing wrong with a little boundary setting during this time of year.

6 – Pace yourself. If you feel you’re getting too caught up and overcommitted on the party circuit, slow down. It’s better to unmake plans than go through with them and bring on a meltdown. When you feel yourself reaching your limit pull back.

7 – Maintain your privacy. Properly managing PTSD during the holidays doesn’t require you to explain PTSD to everyone you know. It’s all right to decline an invitation without giving a full explanation of why. Certainly, share your reasons with people you trust and love, but for others a simple, “No thank you,” is enough.

And one bonus tip: Do what feels right to you. In every moment follow your intuition. Your own inner voice knows what you need, and how and when. Listen to it!

Michele Rosenthal is a trauma survivor who struggled with undiagnosed PTSD for 24 years. And then she was diagnosed and went on a healing rampage! Today she is 100% PTSD-free. A Self-Empowered Healing Coach and passionate PTSD advocate, she founded to provide information about Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, treatment and support. In addition to PTSD facts, the site contains several complimentary support resources including downloads, teleseminars, and a healing workshop, plus monthly radio programs.

For more information:
Contact:, 561.531.1405.

# # #

Organization dedicated to advocating for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness, eduation, treatment and self-empowered healing.


About Bonnie Toews and John Christiansen

Bonnie's Blog Posts invite our readers and free spirits everywhere to share life's adventures with us. I talk about writing my novels, reading books, chatting with other writers and John's and my journeys around the world. We welcome your anecdotes to our experiences and discussions.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan vets, depression, emotional trauma, Homecoming Vets, post traumatic stress disorder, social workers, veterans' assistance programs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How vets with PTSD can stay stress-free during the holidays

  1. Bonnie — Thank you so much for posting these tips, and for adding to your blog roll. As someone who struggled with undiagnosed PTSD for 24 years I developed a lot of coping strategies! Now that I’m 100% PTSD-free and working with clients to strategize and support their recovery process, I continue to develop things to help reduce stress, which is always a major component in PTSD management. Our troops especially deserve our help. I’m so happy to be able to contribute. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s