Self-care is an important part of supporting recovery from trauma. Whether it’s trauma from an accident, surviving natural disasters, or recovering from bad experiences, it’s helpful to take time for yourself and make healthier decisions.
During and after a disaster, kindness is needed to help oneself recover better. Research shows that being compassionate towards ourselves and others helps build self-esteem, increases resilience, and promotes a better mental disposition.
Trauma makes dealing with heavy emotions extremely difficult. There will be days when coping feels tougher, and practicing self-care can make these days easier to manage. Keep in mind that having bad days doesn’t mean better ones can’t exist. Acknowledging these feelings and giving yourself space to process them at your own pace can help you heal better, and become a better individual overall.
Ground yourself with breathing techniques
Studies show that distress can make us breathe quicker and shallower, which can contribute to tension, lightheadedness, and even trigger a panic attack. Deep breaths help your body calm down and think better, so trying them in a dire situation is encouraged.
Deep breathing is beneficial for meditation and can be a good mindfulness practice.
Keep in touch
Surrounding yourself with loved ones can also help cope with trauma. During bushfire recovery, getting in touch with your community is vital. You might need to reach out to support others and find support yourself.
Make healthier decisions moving forward
Self-care covers so many activities one can engage in to ground themselves. But it in’t all meditation and massages. Self-care also involves creating and maintaining healthy habits that help your future self.
Commit to a routine of self-care
A defining result of trauma is a lack of focus. Committing to a routine can ease worries of unpredictability because knowing what to do next takes stress off your plate. Sometimes it may get difficult to stay consistent, but don’t give up.
Reaching out for additional support
If you are concerned about how you’re feeling, speak to your existing mental health professional, or contact the SANE Helpline on ( 1800 18 7263 ) for information, advice and referral. You can also connect with others who have experiences bushfires and understand what you’re going through via online, moderated, anonymous forums.
Original story found on the SANE Australia website. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
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