Finding the Right Level of Self-Care with PTSD
Monday, September 18 2017 Tia Hollowood
Finding the right level of self-care for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) shouldn't be that hard considering that self-care is a concept I read or hear about daily. The Internet is replete with self-care checklists and ideas for busy parents, overloaded students, and almost every mental health condition ever diagnosed. However, balancing my level of self-care with PTSD becomes lopsided because self-care frequently presents as an activity or item that is considered to be a treat. Manicures, chocolates, long baths, and time to read are common self-care suggestions. Personally, I find self-care to be more complicated, as it is not always about taking it easy on myself. Here is why I balance my indulgence level of self-care with PTSD against challenges.
The Right Level of Self-Care with PTSD Requires Balance
Although I have maintained a wellness recovery action plan (WRAP) for over a decade, I am not the best model of appropriate self-care. I hope to change that by finding a healthy balance between self-deprivation and self-indulgence.
Find a Balance Between Responsibility and Rest
I tend to become so focused on tasks that need completing that I push through to finish them without paying attention to the stressors I am encountering. I've been known to spend entire Saturdays sleeping after a week full of frantic obligations. Usually, these obligations are all self-imposed.
However, to confuse matters, I also have used self-care as an excuse to hold back from challenges. It isn't that I intentionally sabotage myself, but I do use self-care concerns to put off some responsibilities that I need to deal with sooner rather than later. Sometimes self-care becomes a convenient crutch to lean on when I really should be handling some basic daily tasks.
Balance Your Level of Self-Care Between Saying No and Challenging Yourself
In this video, I discuss the challenge of finding a balance between knowing when to step back and regroup and when to push forward with important tasks that don't need to be put off in the name of self-care for PTSD.