The self-care tips that follow are ones of higher effort and impact. Take all of the following as suggestions with respect to where you are, how you are, and what you’re capable of doing.
When conversations about intimate partner and or sexual based violence go viral in our hyper-connected world, it often seems like there’s no escape. Try reading less of the news, limiting time on social media, and sticking with an online streaming platform, your favorite podcast, or a good book.
Express what’s on your heart and mind. Honor that and give it a voice. Then contain it within those pages so that you can walk away from it when you need to.
Set forth a plan that includes exercise, proper nourishment, a consistent vitamin regimen, healthy relationships, meaningful productivity, rest, FUN, and so much more. Try to strive for balance and observe your areas of health that you are lacking.
Whether that is an animal shelter, soup kitchen/food pantry, after-school program, homeless individuals, or a charity, find what really stirs in your heart and makes you feel like you’re fulfilling a greater life purpose.
Call a close friend, reach out to family, or take comfort in a partner’s arms. Take the time to regularly engage your support system, whether that’s discussing the impact of the news on our mental health, talking about why we’re struggling, laughing about your favorite TV show, or simply spending time together.
If you’re experiencing disruptive symptoms related to trauma, such as anxiety, flashbacks, dissociation, thoughts of suicide, or other mental health warning signs, consider finding professional support. A mental health professional can provide a nonjudgmental space to unpack your experiences, they can also teach you new ways to deal with trauma.
You can find crisis plans to fill out online, or you can work with loved ones and your therapist to create your own. Consider giving a copy of your plan to your counselor and a friend or family member so you have extra support, and make yourself copies for your home, bag, and anywhere else you can grab it in a crisis.
Be firm, clear, specific, and confident. You can also be kind and compassionate, without clouding the non-negotiability of your terms. Whether this is done in the form of a letter, email, phone call, or face to face discussion, know your limits and then set them with others. You deserve it. You require it. And you can do this.
As survivors, you have every right to decide how and when we participate in the conversation, if at all. Your voice, when ready to engage is powerful and important, but you have the option — and the right — to decide how and when you speak up. There’s no pressure to share your story. Whether you decide to participate, or not, either option is perfectly acceptable.
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