Know that you are not alone if the holidays can evoke PTSD symptoms.
This may include flashbacks to painful memories from past holidays, intrusive or unwanted thoughts about those past experiences that making being present difficult.
You are not alone if you struggle with emotional overwhelm at this time of year. Holidays can evoke sadness and depression, anxiety, and anger.
Holidays and our emotional reactions to them can produce efforts to escape through sex, drugs, or alcohol.
At the holidays know that you have the right to love your family from afar.
You do not have to spend the holidays with family if it will cause you harm.
You have the right to spend the holidays with whomever you choose.
You deserve to be around people who show you love, respect, support, honesty, acceptance, loyalty & compassion.
If you decide to spend time with family, remember you are allowed to have boundaries.
And have a plan for what to do if your boundaries are violated.
You are allowed to have an escape plan.
You can bring a support person.
You don’t have to stay in toxic environments, so it’s okay to get a hotel or stay with people you feel safer with.
Have a plan for self-care. Is there a friend or animal you want to bring?
Make plans with others so you can take a break from family.
Plan for taking a walk if emotions get intense.
Prep your support network on what type of support you might need at this time & then make sure to reach out & ask for it!
Know the local crisis lines if needed.