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Self-Care ...

self-care after sexual assault

Whatever stage of healing you are at it is always important for you to take care of yourself.
There are various ways of doing this and which ever ones work for you are the right ones.
The following are just a few suggestions that you may like to try. 
laughter in recovery from sexual assault
Laugh - They say laughter is the best medicine so rent funny movies, watch comedies on TV or go to a comedy club - anything that makes you smile.
Keeping a JournalMany survivors find that a journal is a good place to record any feelings they may be having about what happened. Journals can provide you with a very safe space to record any anger, frustration, fear, loneliness, triggers, guilt or doubt you may be experiencing. It can also be a good place to discuss issues to bring up with your therapist.
Make a Healing Scrap Book - If you don't like writing then you could always make a scrap book. You could include poetry, drawings, words of encouragement from friends and encouraging articles - anything at all that has been helpful to you.
Make a Healing Quote Book (Contributed by Sky) - Collect healing quotes from books, songs, films or other survivors to read when you need encouragement or support.
Being Creative - Can you sing, dance, act, write, draw or play an instrument? The arts can provide a wonderful outlet for your emotions and are also a brilliant way to reach out to others. This site has its own creative arts page (Rainbows). Check out the work of other people or submit your own. If you have a skill don't let it sit idle, use it to benefit yourself and those around you.
General well being - It is so important that you look after yourself. You are precious and deserve the best care possible. You have been through a terrible ordeal and need to take extra special care of yourself. Make sure you start this off by eating properly and getting enough sleep. If you have food issues or are struggling with insomnia please seek professional help. Dealing with trauma is exhausting, you need all the energy you have!
Treat Yourself!!!! Do you have a favourite film? A CD you have wanted for ages? A particular wine that you love? Get It!!!! You deserve it!!! While being silly with money is never beneficial, you are more than worth of having a wee treat when you are struggling.
Relax - This possibly ties into number 4 - find ways to relax. Getting a massage, running a bubble bath, eating ice cream! However you relax, make sure you make time for it, especially if you are having trouble sleeping. If you are having severe problems with insomnia please see your Dr.
Call a friend - Contact a friend, even if it is just for a chat. Contact with those who care about you will lift your spirit.
Spend time with friends & family (Contributed by Abbey) - Draw strength and support from friends and family. Spend time with those who care for you. You deserve to be nurtured, loved and cared for - allow family and friends to be there for you.
Exercise - Exercise can be a great way of connecting with your body again. Go for a run or a walk, join a dance or aerobic class or go for a cycle ride. You will gain from the fitness and the time to yourself. Exercise is also known as a natural anti-depressant and if you join a class it is a great way to get to know people. I took up dance (see the Rainbows creativity section) and running (see Runners World )
Activism- Get involved with a local rape activist group. Campaigning to make things better for survivor in the legal and health systems is a great way of channeling your anger.
Make your own web site - It helped me- and you probably know more about making a site than I do!!!!

Firstly be prepared - knowing that you are likely to be triggered helps you to feel more in control when it
happens, you can also plan your response and even see it as an opportunity for healing.
Be reassured that your feelings are normal - triggers are upsetting for us all and your response is a normal reaction after the trauma you experienced
Plan distractions - do things you enjoy, go for a walk or watch a funny film - anything you feel like doing that will distract you from what has triggered you.
Remember you are safe - ground yourself try tapping your foot on the floor, or doing simple maths or spelling.
Do your best to nurture yourself - what makes you happy, relaxed and good about yourself - perhaps learn some relaxation techniques (breathing exercises often help me). Keep yourself warm and eat and sleep as well as you can. You are worth taking care of.
Make use of a support board (check out Pandora's Aquarium) - use the board to post about whatever has been brought up by being triggered -other people will no doubt relate and may be able to offer suggestions

Got a suggestion for anything that's helped you heal or cope with triggers?
Please email it to me for inclusion on this page.
Email me!
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