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Does Having a Routine Help With PTSD?

Discussion in 'General' started by batgirl, Jan 11, 2007.

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  1. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    I have absolutely no daily routine. However my cousin Brian is staying with me at the moment and he thinks I should have a rigid routine, like get up and go to bed at the same time, exercise, eat, read, post on the forum, etc, at the exact same time everyday, for the same amount of time. He wants me to write out a schedule for myself. Anyways I'm just wondering what everyone's thoughts on this are.
     
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  3. NakedAnxiety

    NakedAnxiety Member

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    I routinely have flashbacks that make me nauseous... I think routines are over-rated.

    Of course, if I even tried to have a routine in any other part of my life, after the first 3 days, I'd just forget what order everything is supposed to be in anyway...

    Now, ask me about a dance routine! That, I believe, could be very helpful.[DLMURL="http://blog.nakedanxiety.com/"]
    [/DLMURL]
     
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  4. nov_silence

    nov_silence Well-Known Member

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    Routine can help with people who have experienced trauma. We have suffered from unpredictability... from what we have suffered and the symptoms we suffer currently from (and man that can totally range, as you know!). Being able to provide for ourselves (regardless of our daily experiences) ways of being and doing and practicing those things can develop into wonderful healthy coping skills... or thriving skills as I now think of them.

    Having a routine has helped me alot; especially when I was working hard to getting ready to transition from unemployment to employment (Month of October 2006). It would NOT be strict like wake up this time, take a dump at that time... it was more like making little goals for myself and trying to set my self up for success... For example: I will get up and out of bed and change clothes as my husband wakes up and gets ready for work.

    What also really helped me was to make a list of my accomplishments instead of things I have to get done or should get done (I firmly believe the word "should" and ANY phase starting with "Should of..."is really poisonous!!!!!!). I would keep it in my journal. Everthing from going outside for a few minutes, walking the dog, washing ONE dirty dish... anything and everything. And then periodically I would take stock of all that I had done... so I couldn't get down on myself and say, "God I haven't done anything" or "I can't do anything." This was a big boost for me.

    Routine looks different for everyone, even if you are putting the same skill into practice that someone else is. Simply bc you are you! Sounds like your cousin may be going straight into solution stage. There are many levels of mindfulness and "being with mara" (what Buddhists consider the shit that scares you, eg dealing with past stuff). I would and still do at times have tea "with" my fears, literally make tea when anxious and say okay... I am f'n terrfied but I am going to sit with this and sooth myself at the same time. Do I do this all the time? Hell no! :)
     
  5. Nam

    Nam I'm a VIP

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    A flexible routine would be good. I'm still trying to do this, and still struggle with this constantly. If I can't sleep, guess what? Next day schedule is crud. I sleep in until at least noon and then nothing gets done, and go to bed later. I sometimes feel that rigid schedules only stress me out. I should have options. My schedule is pretty loose. I get up, eat, online some, clean, eat, nap, class, eat, veg, and online again. Any one of these things can be changed and it's ok.

    I think, Batgirl, instead of a routine, think goals. Give yourself one thing to accomplish the next day and see if that works. You choose the time and how it's going to get done. As time goes by, you can add more goals for each day. If you miss one, don't beat yourself up about it, just try again the next day.
     
  6. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Thanks guys, good answers. Nam, I like the idea of a flexible routine and/or setting goals for myself. Especially one goal at a time, rather than several!! Nov_silence, I really like the list of accomplishments idea too. I'm making a list of positives in my trauma diary right now, so that could be an extension of it. Plus I am prone to want everything to be perfect... I can just see myself trying to follow a rigid routine, failing at it and then beating myself up mercilessly.

    LOL me too with the nausea, and vomiting. A dance routine would be cool, I like dancing. :)
     
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Damn Antoinette... spot on! Well said....
     
  8. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    Batgirl, did you decide what pet to get? I read somewhere on here you were thinking about getting one? A dog may help with a routine. They need and love walking!

    I've been thinking of getting one myself. Not for the routine for me more for the company and enjoyment.

    Claire
     
  9. NakedAnxiety

    NakedAnxiety Member

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    Claire, might I suggest a pug? I've had one for 3 years and he cracks me up several times a day with his antics. They don't need a lot of excercise but they are willing to go on a walk anytime you feel like it. Mostly, they just like to hang out with you, on your lap if possible.
     
  10. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    Ok, thanks I'll look into that. I'll probably get a rescue dog so it will depend on what they've got. I dont think I can spare enough time for a puppy. I'm not sure if its a good idea or not still but I'm going to look into it seriously.
     
  11. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Claire, I was thinking about getting an Alsatian puppy, but due to recent events pertaining to my physical health, I won't be getting a dog for a little while now. It wouldn't be fair to the animal, as I'm going to be sick and/or resting a lot for the next while. I'll definitely be getting one when I feel better though.

    NA, I never thought of a pug, but they are awfully cute now that you mention it. It's good to know they have a nice nature, I will keep that in mind for when I'm ready to get a puppy.
     
  12. NakedAnxiety

    NakedAnxiety Member

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    Yes, batgirl, they are real sweethearts. And everyone I know who has one says the same. Even if you are ill, layed out on the couch or bed all day, a pug will be happy as a clam hanging out with you.
     
  13. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    This thread is really old, but I decided to add an update to it, since my question has basically been answered for myself. Brian isn't here anymore, but shortly after he left my aunt and uncle came to stay with me again, and my uncle pretty much insisted on a routine. I was quite pissed off with him at first and resisted it, but after 2+ months I'm reaping the benefits. I'm sleeping a lot better, eating better, feeling much better in general. Of course other things have been going on for me as well, but I've really found that getting up and going to bed at the same time, getting dressed, eating breakfast, even coming on here at the same time each day has really helped. My routine isn't totally rigid as I'm physically ill right now, but it's pretty consistent, and I think the consistency alone is making me feel better. What can I say, my family was right again!

    Oh... and I won't be getting a dog likely, but I'm planning on getting a horse! So that along with my new job should give me all the routine I could ever want! I'm really excited about the horse! :)
     
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