“There is no timestamp on trauma. There isn’t a formula that you can insert yourself into to get from horror to healed. Be patient. Take up space. Let your journey be the balm.”– Dawn Serra. 

Serra here rightfully acknowledges the ordeal faced by trauma survivors and highlights the importance of letting time heal the wounds. Going through a traumatic experience can be life-altering as it impacts you both emotionally and physiologically.  It’s common that post-trauma distress and anxiety will continue to linger for quite a long time. Living with trauma can be very overwhelming, and evidently, things won’t change overnight. However, it is not the end and there’ll still be hope in life. With proper treatments, guidance, and care, one can recover from the trauma

One of the best treatments for trauma is self-care. While it may sound very cliche; but self-care is more than cozy blankets and hot chocolates. Self-care is prioritizing your mental, physical and spiritual health and indulging yourself in activities that help in overcoming the stress. 

Self-care isn’t something to be guilty about and so feel free to pamper yourself with the little things you love and make you feel alive.  Here are a few self-care techniques that will help in healing. 

  • Meditate

Trauma leaves you with dreary dull thoughts, haunting you every now and then. Meditating can be one of the ways through which you can drive away the negative energy and usher in positive affirmation in your life. Scrape out all the bad energy in you and embrace the current flow of positivity. Meditation helps to ease the symptoms of depression and reduce anxiety. 

Now meditating can be a very simple and subtle practice. Remember, this is to seek tranquility and relief, thus it can be as simple as breathing. Find a calm, quiet place for yourself and just focus on the good things in your life, don’t let negative affirmations dominate your mind. The past has to be left in the past, focus on the present. Listen to music that soothes you, close your eyes, lie down and focus on your breathing. 

  • Yoga 

After meditation the next step is yoga. Meditation is a part of yoga that helps you relax and calm yourself. Yoga will further help you in relieving stress. It helps in striking a balance in daily life. Yoga is an excellent way to regain your mental, physical and spiritual health. 

Start it with simple exercises such as pranayama, anuloam-vilom, kapal bhati, etc. You may further try trauma-sensitive yoga that aims to ease the physiological experiences of trauma and helps in creating an awareness of body and mind. 

  • Seek professional help 

Having the guidance of a professional throughout the journey of healing from a trauma will help in an enhanced and safe recovery. A mental health professional will ensure that you’re on the right track and there is no hindrance in your recovery.  It’s quite normal that while meditating, the thoughts and flashes from the disastrous experience would continue to appear again. Instead of letting your past trauma take over you, therapy will ensure you remain calm and will gently channel your thought process in another direction. Generally, after a traumatic experience, one is left with fear and anxiety. An individual is in shock and there’s a fear that the same events will occur again. It’s common that neurological patients start blaming and abusing themselves for all that they’ve gone through and believe all the negative affirmations as a reality. A professional will help attain the proper neurocritical care you acknowledge the positive points about yourself and help you love yourself, regain all the compassion, and respect for your body, and seek tranquility.

  • Get a goodnight’s sleep 

Sleep is the most important part of self-care. While your mind is busy keeping you needlessly awake, what it doesn’t know is that the body needs some rest from all the fuss it has been creating. Rest is vital for the body to recover properly. 

Begin with little steps. At first start with lying down on your bed, closing your eyes, and not thinking at all. Drink warm milk, and get those comfortable blankets and pillows. You may also use scented candles for a more relaxing effect. Ensure that the place where you repose is warm and cozy. Turn on some soft, calming music. A very effective method to fall asleep is imagining things that calm you. Close your eyes and imagine scenarios of lush green meadows with fluttering butterflies, wide clear skies with fluffy light clouds,  small rivulets with water gently flowing, etc.  Listen to the sounds of nature like the pitter-patter of the raindrops, the chirping of the birds, etc that will soothe your mind and help you sleep. 

  • Exercise.

Exercising is a must for trauma survivors. Withdrawal from daily chores will make you laid back and slobby. Physical health is paramount and cannot be neglected. Exercise releases endorphins that reduce your perception of pain and unleashes a zest of positivity in your body. Commit to exercising daily at least for 20-30 minutes. 

 

  • Unleash your creativity through the pain 

Channelizing your pain to do something constructive, creative and something that you love is one of the best remedies to ease out the grief. This can be in the form of writing, painting, singing, creating music, cooking, literally anything that you like.  Drawing inspiration from personal experiences to create something new can be a great form of healing as you are letting out all the anguish within you. 

Many artists use art as a coping mechanism to deal with their pain. Art allows you to express yourself when words can’t. 

  • Talk, communicate. 

Rather than isolating yourself, engage in talking to people. Self-isolation may at times lead to depersonalization and derealization. Start talking to the people around you. You may also join support groups to share your experiences and get to know that of others who are sailing the same boat as you.  If you’re still uncomfortable opening up to others, try confiding in a person you trust. Talking about your feelings, the pain, and sufferings you’re going through will help in normalizing the situation. Instead of letting your wild, vulnerable feeling bottle up within you, communicate and let out all the toxicity in you. 

“Yes, I deserve a spring–I owe nobody nothing.”- Virginia Woolf.

Self-care is all about healing from the wounds of trauma, so don’t shy away from doing things you love. It’s all about rekindling the lost spark within you. Read books, listen to music, go for walks, eat food items that you love, and pamper yourself. Most importantly love and respect yourself.