Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A high percentage of widows experience trauma that leads to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  While many widows turn to medications to help with their grief and sleep disturbances, I advise that you also look into natural de-stressors.

For us widows there is no returning to “normal” and so feeling stressed and anxious as we worry about our future is natural and can often be helped by natural methods.

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Therapist-guided eye movements with vivid visual imagery to reset your thought process.  For more information Google “EMDR”.


  • The mornings can be a hard start, so begin your day with a relaxing ten minute shower or soak in the tub. Water is mood boosting and also increases your serotonin production.


  • Take a midday break to get outside for at least 20 minutes of sun. This will reduce your stress hormone cortisol.


  • Can’t sleep, try 350 mg to 700 mg of passion flower extract one hour before going to bed. It is a natural sedative that calms the brain.  Check with your doctor before supplementing with any natural ingredients.


  • Yes – you can do it! Keep cheering yourself on by repeating “I am capable and I can do this”.  Don’t give up on yourself, keep trying no matter what.


  • You have to learn to love yourself first. Work on your natural gifts and talents, and learn to be happy in your own skin.


  • Draw a line when people are not appreciating your value, and don’t let them cross that line. You are made to be seen and respected – you deserve that.


  • When your energy level dips, pause and take six deep belly breaths, breathing out through your mouth as if you are blowing up a balloon.


  • Decluttering your space is guaranteed to lighten and brighten your mood. For those special items, that carry your memories, create a specific spot where you can honor them.


  • When you feel over whelmed, place a cold bag (like a bag of frozen peas) on your forehead.  This will lower your heart rate and relax you.


  • Technology overload – try checking email only three times a day and never just before bedtime.


  • Get your doctor to test your thyroid, vitamin D and B-12 as they all affect your energy.


  • Practice tai chi in the mornings to increase your energy level and lower your stress. To learn tai chi in your home, search for “free tai chi lessons” on YouTube.


  • Lift your spirits by talking to someone every day. Texting doesn’t work the same way, because hearing a person’s voice creates a richer feeling of togetherness.

  1. Gloria Whitchurch
    | Reply

    This is the 1st real ‘comfortable’ suggestions I’ve seen. Nothing judgemental, just easy enough ideas… thanks!

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