You are not alone
With the support of TrygFonden, DIGNITY has created this site where you will find exercises and tools to help you unwind and activate your body.
Life in a foreign country
Migrating or having to flee from another country is a difficult journey. That is because migrants often miss their culture, their language and the neighborhood they once knew while simultaneously having to get to know a new country, learn a new language and integrate into a new culture.
What is PTSD?
When someone has been a victim of or a witness to traumatic events such as torture, abuse, war or other violent experiences, developing a stress-related condition called post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – is normal..
Life with PTSD
PTSD can have a devastating effect on someone’s life. There are many different symptoms and signs of PTSD, e.g. anxiety, nightmares and insomnia. Fortunately, we know that professional treatment can make a positive difference.
We have put together some exercises to help you find peace and tranquillity in stressful situations.
Sleep and rest
Sleep is important, but people who have PTSD or anxiety may find it difficult to relax. We have put together some useful sleep tips and resting positions that can be used to unwind both during the day and in the evening.
- Try to wake up and go to bed at consistent times everyday
- Avoid light from screens such as phones, TV, computer or tablets in the last two hours before your bedtime.
- Only use your bedroom for sleeping
- Create relaxing routines before bedtime such as calming tea, a warm shower or a footbath, relaxing music or reading a book
- Make sure to be exposed to day light during the day
- Do not go to bed hungry or right after eating, avoid eating and drinking two hours before going to bed
- Avoid drinking coffee, cola or tea after 5 pm
- Avoid alcohol in the evening
- Avoid smoking in the evening
- Avoid falling asleep in front of the TV
- Avoid the news, work and distressing conversations in the hours leading up to your bedtime
- Avoid napping in the day – save your sleep until night time.
These positions can be used when you need to rest or sleep
Resting position for your arm. Place your arm on a few pillows. You should feel you shoulder and arm relaxing as much as possible. Place pillows between your knees and under your head as well.
Lay on your side with both legs bend. Fold a big pillow and place it by your chest. Place your top arm on the pillow in front of your body and the bottom arm below the pillow. Take a few deep breaths.
Here is an exercise for you to do if you need to unwind.
Exercises with a resistance band
Stand with your feet in the middle of the band, arms down by your side and hold each side of the band. Lift your shoulders towards your ears and lower them slowly and repeat 5- 10 times.
Stand with your feet on the middle of the band. Arms down by your side and hold each side of the band. The back of your hand faces forward. Lift your arms to the height of your face. Slowly lower them and repeat 5-10 times. Watch video
Stand with your feet in the middle of the band, feet hip distance apart. Hold on to each end of the resistance band and place your hands on your shoulders. Bend you knees and press up to a standing position. Keep your back straight throughout the exercise and the knees facing the same direction as your feet. Repeat 5-10 times.
Stand with your arms in a 90-degree angle with lower arms facing forward. Keep your upper arms close to your body and your elbows still while you swing one arm to the side. The band should be loose enough for you to rotate you shoulder. Change arms. Repeat 5-10 times. Watch video
Hold the resistance band with arms stretched over your head. Pull your arms down until they are horizontal. Gently let go and repeat 5-10 times. Watch video
Stand with your feet in the middle of the band hold each side of the band with each hand. Bend your upper body forward with a slight bend in your hips and knees and your arms hanging down towards the floor. Lift your arms to the side and up so as to press your shoulders together on your back. Repeat 5-10 times.
DIGNITY is headquartered in Denmark, but works with partner organisations in around 20 countries.
DIGNITY has been certified by the Danish Health Authority as a highly specialised centre specialising in the rehabilitation of traumatised refugees. Under the provisions of the Danish Health Care Act, this treatment is free, and patients are referred by their own doctor via a referral form. DIGNITY’s care team works across professions and comprises physicians, physiotherapists, social workers, psychologists and interpreters. Our team helps the victims of torture, other extremely traumatised refugees and their families to process physical and psychological trauma and tackle social challenges.
Denmark also has other clinics like DIGNITY. They are called.