Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Coping With PTSD 4

Disaster preparedness is not complete unless you take PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), into account. PTSD is very common among people who are in or have been in a disaster. This is the third in my series of posts about ideas for helping to cope with PTSD. 

I will only try to do 1 to 3 things in a day, if my PTSD is pretty bad. You can tell this if you can't do things or keep focused or remember very well. I try doing 3 things a day. If that is not working at all well, I will drop back to 1 thing to get done in a day.

I write the one thing to get done for the day on one or more post-it notes. It depends on how I am feeling, as to how many notes I use for the day and what I do with them. I may stick the notes in places where I will see them a lot during the day. I usually have one to keep with me. 

I use a fanny pack to carry keys and other things that I might lose and I put the post-it note on top of the fanny pack or on a wrist band or watch. Sometimes I put the post-it on a pocket flap. I make sure that I look at the post-it and read it frequently, to help me to stay focused on the job to get done that day. 

The places in my home where I have stuck up extra post-it notes are: The bathroom mirror, where I will see it when I wash my hands or brush my teeth. The refrigerator is another good place for post-its. I like a spot like the handle or at eye level on the door.

The kitchen sink or curtain or window in front of it is another place to put post-it notes. The front door at eye level or on the handle is another place. My computer monitor and my keyboard are other places. Sometimes it is my coffee or tea or hot chocolate mug. The cat does not work for post-it notes. :-p

Light switches have worked. Sometimes the toilet tank or handle has worked. I have put it on my pillow, or where I will see it as soon as I wake up.

If I do not manage to get my one important thing done in a day, I put it on the schedule for the next day. A note goes where I will see it first thing the next day. That can be on the places already mentioned, or the coffee pot or my bathrobe, or shoes or clothing for the next morning. Sometimes it has been my cereal bowl.

If I still do not get it done the next day, I will not make myself feel bad by saying bad things about myself. I will just give myself an encouraging pep talk or think  silent encouragement and put it on the schedule again. 

If this goes on too long, I will think about why it is not getting done. Is this too hard for me to manage right now? Do I need to postpone this and do something easier, and come back to the harder thing later?

Sometimes doing something easier will encourage me and help me to get the hard thing done next.

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