This Coronavirus crisis has been quite a stress-producing event for all of us, hasn’t it? Not only does it include the fear of catching the virus and getting sick, wondering if there will be the equipment available we need to get well, but also the loss of jobs, dealing with home working environments, not being able to purchase supplies you need, and the list goes on and on. It all adds to the stress level those of us with PTSD deal with every day. It’s no walk in the woods.
Let me suggest you take stock now of what you need and don’t have, or want and can’t get, so the next time an emergency arises you are better prepared. That being said, dealing with this added stress is something we need to think about and develop a plan to handle.
Of course, you know the VA has many resources for coping. The VA COACH ON-LINE is one, with many suggestions for ways to handle your stress. Meditation, physical exercise, relaxation techniques, journaling, talk therapy, anger management techniques, and many other ideas are listed along with guided exercises to teach you how to use them most effectively.
The thing is, each one of us finds our own way of coping, and when times become increasingly rough, we may need to add additional items to our usual ways of coping. We often find that no single mechanism will keep us in the healthy zone, so we have to resort to a mixture of different coping techniques.
Take some time today to think about what’s adding to your stress levels, and come up with a plan that will help bring your anxiety to a manageable level. When you have PTSD, you tend to want to isolate, but don’t fall into that trap! Call a friend and talk about what’s happening. Old adages such as “a burden shared is a burden halved” exist for a reason…they are true! Use your music, try diversion, write down a plan for what you’ll do as soon as the shelter-in-place order is lifted and follow through on it. Don’t let depression, stress, anger, or anxiety win – make a plan today!