Experts will tell you that there are a variety of ways to deal with and heal from trauma.
There is no denying the accuracy of this statement – every person who has survived personal battles will find their own unique way to overcome trauma. That being said, there is one thing you simply can’t avoid while you are recovering: self-care.
Unfortunately, when someone suffers from trauma, it is easy to disconnect from yourself, your body, and the world around you and many survivors find it easier to simply stop taking care of ourselves. Which is a problem because taking care of our wellbeing, is mandatory to helping you heal.
Break Out of Your Negative Thought Patterns
Even after you have removed yourself from an abusive situation, it is not easy to clear your mind from a continuous stream of negative thoughts. In fact, you may be so consumed by despair, helplessness, anger, and even denial, that you find it almost impossible to bring yourself to take the next important step in your healing process.
In times like this, remember that you have already accomplished so much, and have survived a very dark time. This only proves that you have the strength deep within you to overcome the torment you feel. Although you may not realize it, there is a wonderful store of positivity and hope inside of you, and you just need to learn how to tap into it.
The healing process is certainly tough to manage all by yourself. You can’t just ask your brain to turn off and sometimes, that critical voice in your head can be quite loud.
This is why it can be helpful to get some form of counseling. You can either choose to see a specialist or a general counselor, depending on what you are most comfortable with. However, it is imperative that you find someone who genuinely understands what you are going through and helps you see your life in a better light.
Rediscover Your Self Worth
A common, cruel tactic used by abusers is a tendency to put their victims down at every turn. They may blame you for their own actions, tell you that you are worth nothing, and may chip away at your self-esteem in various ways. After weeks, months, or years of listening to this, it is understandable that you internalize all of this, untrue as it is.
This is just another reason why self-care is quite so important. You need to remember all the great qualities that made you such an amazing person. It is only then that you will begin to build up your confidence and understand your true worth.
There are several ways you can do this, including engaging in activities that make you happy. It is also a good idea to surround yourself with people who build you up and appreciate who you are. Last but not least, make it a point to be patient with yourself. After all, if you have been through something unimaginable, you deserve all the time it takes to help you recover.
As you can see, self-care – particularly during such a difficult period in your life – is invaluable. So, take the time to look after yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. And the glue that holds it all together- SLEEP
The Strength to Keep Moving Forward – Sleep!
Healing through trauma can be exhausting. As a survivor, it is not uncommon to suffer from sleep problems or insomnia throughout the healing process.
One of the best ways to manage stress and start feeling better is to get a good night’s sleep so your body can recuperate and heal.
Here are a few tips to help you fall asleep and stay asleep:
The first step would be to make sure that you only ever use your room for sleeping. Ideally avoid working, eating, and watching TV in your room. This way, when you do head to your bed, your mind and body is already prepping for what you do in that room which is – sleep.
The next thing you can do is create the perfect sleep environment.
This means making sure that your bedroom is dark and cool before you try to settle down each night. People tend to sleep better in a room that feels comfortable.
Also, if possible avoid taking any digital devices with you to bed. This also means the hour before bed try to limit your digital devices in order to begin to slow down the mind and body. If you feel that you have to keep your phone with you, reduce the glare and make the screen as dim as possible.
Finally, if you are still having a tough time drifting off, you can use either soothing sounds of a sound machine or the scent of lavender sprinkled on our pillow or bed sheets to create a more comforting and soothing space for yourself.
I hope that this helps- what tools do you use to help you fall asleep?
Joi Bellis is a Masters student working on a degree in clinical and health psychology. Aside from the social sciences, Joi also has a love for cats and yoga. She is passionate about educating and informing people about sleep issues such as insomnia, as well as just improving quality and effectiveness of sleep. She works with her colleagues on her blog: The Sleep District.