One of the side effects of PTSD and depression is an inability to make the changes necessary to heal. When you’re depressed, you suffer from low energy; it’s hard to even find the energy to think. Unfortunately, getting better often requires taking action in spite of wanting to maintain status quo. PTSD is often the same – where you may feel that in your present circumstances you are emotionally paralyzed, finding the energy to make a change is a necessity.
Healing requires change. You will likely have to challenge the thoughts, actions and beliefs that are holding you hostage. But, the good news is that it’s worth the effort. The goal is to get through and begin learning new habits, better ways of coping and dealing with stress. Exercise can help; so can meditation. Developing your spirituality can be a path to healing too. The thing is, just don’t sit there. If where you are is bad, then staying there won’t make you feel better! It doesn’t require that you change everything in your life immediately. Make one change today: take a walk. Walking gets endorphins going and that makes you feel better. Or, try going for a swim, riding a bike, jogging in place. Whatever your preferred form of exercise is, take 10 minutes today to indulge in it. Increase it to 15 minutes next week. Go from there.
Meditation is more difficult if you’re not already verse in it. I’ve tried “learning” to meditate and have found it’s not something you can just force yourself to do! But, trained masters can help and there are a lot of them out there. Find one if that’s your thing.
Read spiritual material. If you aren’t not comfortable going to church (as many veteran aren’t comfortable in crowds), turn on the TV on Sunday morning. You’ll find a channel with church services on. If that’s not your thing, read. It doesn’t have to be religious materials. Just read something wholesome and relaxing. That means a Steven King novel is probably not on the list! Save that for another time. Read something that soothes your soul; something that makes you feel good. If you can’t feel good, read something that captures your interest without adding stress to your life.
The thing is you have to work at getting better. The good thing is, it’s worth it!