Life can throw us many curve balls, and in order to survive traumatic experiences and stressful times, self-care is vital. Often in times of stress we can turn to escapist habits that don’t serve us, but this only sets us back more. In order to move forward and heal from traumatic events, self-care is required. Here are a few tips to help balance yourself and heal during stressful times.
While it’s understandable that you may want to stay in bed and cry after a traumatic event, you must keep moving. You don’t necessarily have to do a crazy workout or go out, but you do need to get out of bed and maintain some sort of schedule. Even simple things like following your usual cleaning routine, showering and getting ready, and making your bed can keep you from sliding down into despair. Try to maintain some level of function and movement.
Now is a good time to really delve into meditation and re-center yourself. Meditation can help ease anxiety, stress, and depression, and you can do it any time, any where. To learn more about meditation and its proven effects on the brain, go here.
It goes without saying, you need to eat as healthy as possible during this time. You may not have an appetite, but at the very least try to drink a meal replacement shake or something with adequate nutrition. Unhealthy foods will only make you feel worse during fragile times.
It can be hard to sleep after a traumatic event, but it will be necessary to aid normal function and healing. If you absolutely can’t fall asleep it’s worth picking up an over-the-counter sleep aid or visiting your doctor to get a prescription.
While it can be hard to air out your problems with others, you will need to confide in someone. Whether that’s a friend, a stranger on a support forum, or with a professional therapist, you will need to talk your way through stressful times. Don’t hold in your feelings, it will only exacerbate the pain.
Writing out all that you’re feeling is incredibly therapeutic. Use this time to write out all your thoughts without restriction. Say everything you need to say on paper -no matter how bad your feelings are. It doesn’t mean you have to share it with anyone, but it’s important to get it all out.
It’s important after traumatic events to seek knowledge and education around what has happened to you. It’s much easier to process situations once you have information and tools to help you understand your circumstances and feelings. Forums on sites like 7 Cups and Reddit can be filled with information and supportive people to help you cope.
Do Your Best With What You Have Available
Healing is not a linear process. It’s important to be patient with yourself and understand you will be riding waves of emotions. It can feel like you’re going crazy at times with all the varying thoughts. This is absolutely normal, so be patient with yourself and do your best with your current mental state. Do not expect to “just get over it” quickly. Traumatic experiences take significant time to heal.
Avoid Self Destructive Activities
While it can be easy to hit the bottle or seek self-harming activities during this time, stay strong and do not do anything that doesn’t serve your well being. You are worthy and capable; do not let a bad experience throw you off course. Now is the time for radical self-love and self-respect.
Seek Professional Help
Do not be ashamed of seeking therapy. Some traumas do not heal without the help of a professional and there is absolutely no shame in doing everything you can to heal and feel better.
Remind Yourself “This Too Shall Pass”
While pain doesn’t always go away completely, over time it will ease if you find the right way to cope. Nothing lasts forever, including painful circumstances. Time passes and eventually your wounds will heal and become less painful with proper self-care and coping tools.