Guest Blog: 3 Beneficial Activities for PTSD


October 5, 2016

Life with PTSD can be tricky. You have to learn to cope with the symptoms and learn new tactics for feeling better. While treatment is a very important part of living with PTSD, there are a few things you can do to improve your quality of life at home such as form a routine. Every human being does better if they cultivate a routine to follow.

This is especially true for those with mental illness. The orderly existence prevents triggers for a number of disorders, including PTSD. So, if you have PTSD, you may want to consider a few of these activities to work into your daily schedule.

Meditation is a Great Coping Mechanism

Meditation is beneficial for nearly every problem a human being can have. Calming the mind, relaxing the body, and reducing your stress will cut the effects of PTSD on a level that may shock you. Just a few minutes a day can put you in a better mental state and decrease the effects of related conditions such as anxiety or depression.

Meditation can also have a positive impact on insomnia, a common PTSD symptom. Meditating before bed can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Best of all, you can meditate anywhere, making it a wonderful tool for coping with bad situations.

Yoga is Meditation with Exercise

Yoga and meditation are different, but yoga certainly employs a number of meditative concepts. Yoga is a slow, relaxing, and soothing way to get the exercise you need, boost endorphins, quiet the mind, and reduce your stress. It’s two of the most beneficial activities rolled into one and only needs to take up a few minutes of your day. It can also be good for people with PTSD who struggle with going out in public to exercise as it can be done at home using a video rather than a physical class.

Time Spent with a Dog is Time Well Spent

It’s no secret that dog owners live longer, healthier, and happier lives but you may not know that dogs can have a positive impact on mental illness. Dogs benefit their owners by reducing stress in the form of petting and cuddling. They limit loneliness and depression by offering unconditional love and affection. They also help their owners stay active through walks and play.

For those with mental illness, the distraction of spending time with an affectionate, excited, and playful dog can reduce the symptoms of the illness with exercise, stress reduction, and love. Even if you are not able to own a dog yourself, you may want to consider borrowing a loved one’s dog or making some extra cash as a dog walker or boarder.

Learning to live with PTSD may be a process but, with proper treatment and positive habits, you can learn to limit your symptoms and handle the effects as they come. Good habits such as exercising and meditating can be extremely helpful for daily life but should not be used as a replacement for treatment. Consider them a supplement and as a way to have a little more control over your life. Try one or all of these options out and see what helps you feel your best.

Julia Merrill, a retired nurse practitioner, wrote a guest blog for us on some good activities veterans can do to help manage life with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With her 25+ years of experience, Julia has provided care to veterans throughout her medical career. Through those experiences working with servicemen and women, she made it a personal mission to help veterans struggling with PTSD and everyday life. She is also planning to share some of the resources she’s found and written on her website,, in the near future.

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