We all go through difficult things in life. Sometimes, it feels like it's all happening at once, and the pressure to keep operating like normal gets bigger and bigger. How do we take time for ourselves to process and heal from what we go through while still showing up for the friends and family who rely on us?
Here are some tips from experts on healing and finding peace when you feel overwhelmed from it all.
- Try to exercise for 30 minutes or more on most days.
- Ask for support.
- Participate in social activities.
- Reconnect with old friends.
- Join a support group for trauma survivors.
- Make new friends.
- Mindful breathing.
- Allow yourself to feel what you feel when you feel it.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
READ MORE: Healing from Trauma
The 3 Phases of Trauma Recovery
This excerpt comes from Dave Asprey.
In her book “Trauma and Recovery,” American psychiatrist Judith Herman lays out three phases of trauma that you typically move through on your path to recovery. The stages are:
1. Safety and Stabilization
The aim of this phase is to regain a sense of safety in the world. Trauma makes you feel unsafe in your body and wary of other people. It can take anywhere from days to months to even years to feel safe again, depending on the severity of the trauma and how you process it.
The first step is to identify which of your difficult emotions, like intense fear or rage, are linked to the trauma, then learn how to manage these emotions. You can do this with the help of a loved one or a talk therapist. There are also non-verbal ways to help you regulate your emotions. More on those methods below.
2. Remembrance and Mourning
The second phase is about processing the trauma and naming it. You begin to use words and emotions to put the trauma into context. Therapy is a key part of this step. Get the input of a reputable counselor or therapist in a group or individual setting. Take your time: moving too quickly might re-trigger you.
The goal is not necessarily to relive the traumatic event, nor is it to escape uncomfortable emotions. You are aiming for a healthy middle ground. Also critical to the second phase is mourning what might have been lost due to the trauma. Give yourself ample time to grieve and express your emotions.
3. Reconnection and Integration
The goal of phase three is the birth of a new self and hope for the future. You don’t allow the trauma to define you; rather, you redefine yourself.
Like Logan, you take concrete steps to reclaim your personal power. You cease being a victim. Many people recovering from trauma find a mission they are passionate about, such as helping others, which can foster healing. Trauma recovery does not imply that you’ll never experience painful thoughts or feelings. You probably will but, like Logan, you won’t be controlled by them.
READ MORE: Healing from Trauma: Science-Backed Methods to Help You Recover
- Use the “Window of Tolerance”
- Breathe Slowly and Deeply
- Validate Your Experience
- Focus on Your Five Senses (5-4-3-2-1)
- Think Positively for 12 Seconds
- Use a Gravity or Weighted Blanket
READ MORE: 7 Tools for Managing Traumatic Stress