How to Heal from PTSD
Welcome to a guest post from Katina Horton, owner of the blog Valley of Grace. She has an amazing post on healing from trauma and PTSD. Take it away Katina!
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Where I Come From
I live with trauma on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until recently that I realized that more than likely, I was born with a DNA imprint of trauma on my brain. About six-and-a-half years ago, my ex-husband mentioned that he was thinking about leaving the marriage.
I had been in an emotionally abusive marriage, filled with affairs, and had stayed for so long due to my low self-worth, and insecurities about my appearance. My daughter was eleven at the time, and I remembered that I was eleven when my father abandoned me.
Something in my brain clicked, and then everything traumatic that I had experienced came to the forefront. It didn’t stop there. His behavior during the next few years, including a fake suicide attempt, caused compounded trauma for the kids and I.
God freed me from Egypt with the divorce. However, I had to walk through the wilderness to regain my self-worth and improve my overall health. Here are a list of the 8 areas that I work on in order to heal:
Get as Much Sleep and Rest as You Can
PTSD and healing from trauma takes over your ability to be able to sleep through the night. At first, I either woke up every hour to an hour and a half, or it took me a long time to get to sleep. It might require you to take frequent naps during the day, or let some things go when it comes to cleaning the house.
Make Vitamins a Daily Routine
I found out from what happened to myself, along with talking to several friends who have experienced healing from trauma, that there is a commonality of deficiencies that include low vitamin D, low B12, low white blood cell count, and thyroid issues.
It took a while for vitamin therapy to improve my B12 and vitamin D numbers. My immune system got so low, that my thyroid that was regulated by Synthroid for over 20 years, stopped being regulated. It took 4 years to fix this problem. I still have to get it checked frequently.
Eat Healthy, Making Sure to Get Enough Protein
I was already eating healthy. However, after experiencing trauma, it became a necessity. My need for more protein to help with energy levels increased.
I also started eating 2 to 3 brazil nuts per day to help with my thyroid and adrenal glands. Brazil nuts contain selenium, which helps with thyroid function and energy.
My adrenal glands were shot after all the compounded trauma, and so what I like to do is lie down a couple of times a day to rest them, and shut them off. Believe it or not, in the beginning, I had to lie down 5 to 6 times a day. That’s just how damaging trauma can be.
Make Sure to Get Some Form of Exercise
Because of the vitamin deficiencies, and shallow breathing from trauma, I had to start out real slow in this area. Now, I can exercise for a longer period of time.
I have never been a runner, so my routine involves walking up and down my flight of stairs twenty times, walking, and doing a 10 to 20 minute power-dance with fast music from the 70s or 80s.
Find an Outlet for Sharing Your Thoughts and Feelings
There are several ways to do this when healing from trauma: journaling, hanging out and talking with friends and family that you can be vulnerable with, art therapy, seeing a therapist, and so on.
I have implemented all of the above. Art therapy is good when you are dealing with emotions, and you just can’t seem to get the words out. Seeing a therapist will help you to learn how to cope with PTSD/trauma, talk about your feelings, and to know that you are not alone. Therapists help you to unpack all the yucky stuff.
Get Fresh Air On a Daily Basis
Fresh air and nature itself improves your adrenal gland health, along with improving your overall mood. When the weather permits, I like to walk to the beach and bury my feet in the sand. The water at the beach helps with the depression aspect of PTSD, along with causing a calming effect
Massage Your Body
You’ve heard of the term “better out than in.” In order for you to feel better, the trauma has to come out. Trauma resides in the tissues.
In the beginning, I massaged my body a lot, including the base of my head, my neck, back, shoulders and arms. Believe it or not, this caused me to grieve like crazy as I was working the trauma out of my body.
Get the Grief Out
I can’t stress this enough. You will feel better if you do it a little bit at a time. At first, I was afraid of losing control by grieving, and after suffering for so long from an emotionally abusive marriage, I had to learn how to grieve.
Over time, you will also learn when it isn’t safe to full-on grieve. Your clue will be when you feel that there is no bottom, and that you are freefalling, as I like to call it.
Final Thoughts on Healing from Trauma
I hope that these tips will help you improve your healing journey from PTSD/trauma as they have helped me to improve mine. Keep walking in hope and perseverance.
Blessings from high,
About the Author
My name is Katina Horton. I am an Author, Speaker, Blogger, and Store Owner. My career in writing started in March of 2016, when I published my first book, entitled, “The Journey: Walking in God’s Grace, Mercy, & Blessings.” Since then, I have gone on to publish two more books: “Valley of Grace”, in May of 2018, and “How Trauma, Identity, and Self-Worth Affect and Are Affected by Our Brokenness: A Survivor’s Point of View” in August of this year.
My blog, Valley of Grace, is an extension of my book, which is a compilation of devotions, poetry, and diy home decor. The blog seeks to feed the whole person by focusing on encouragement, character development, and lifestyle. I have a passion for ministering to women who have gone through extensive trials and trauma, letting them know that our valleys in life can be used as stepping stones to our calling and purpose in life, and time to be used for our character development, rather than our problems. My Shopify store focuses on the tagline of Valley of Grace: “simple, functional, grace-filled living, where t-shirts, coffee, and home-office products are used to help reflect this theme.
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