20 Healthy Ways to Deal with Trauma

trauma support group

Just as trauma can originate from various experiences, triggers and the overwhelming responses to them can impact our lives in different ways, at any time, and be brief or challenging for some time. One certainty with the effects of trauma is that there are vehicles in which you can ease your pain and struggle.

From internal reminders, to routine self care, here are 20 healthy tips to cope with trauma from experts around the web who live it and know it well.

Affirmations

“Use it often, recite or read it periodically, even several times a day. A good time is when doing mundane tasks or just before falling asleep. This helps it to sink into our subconscious. The negative mental chatter around it eventually starts to drop away and we start to see the opportunities to make the positive change more readily because we are not focusing on what’s not working.” – Becky Higgins (source)

Take life at your own pace

“One more day often felt impossible… I often thought to myself, literally, ” I cannot take one more day.” So without realizing it I developed my own version of “one day at a time.” I like to call it “take another step.” I kept practicing “take another step” all day long. Something inside willed me to keep going on to the next moment, and the next.” – Blue Light Blue (source)

Journal

“Writing helps me process my emotions, and I feel less overwhelmed when I write out what’s on my mind. I find that writing on a regular basis (even if I’m not feeling inspired) helps me to feel more positive about what’s going on in my life.” – The Blissful Mind (source)

Lean on Others

“Ask friends or family for additional support to help you accomplish the goals you want to achieve. Or maybe even seek out a therapist if you feel you have some tough things you’d like to work through with the help of a professional. We all need help and can’t do this thing called life alone!” – Embracing Simple (source)

Technology

“There is an abundance of apps and aids you can turn to when worry gets overwhelming. From distraction games to coping strategies, there’s an app to address every aspect of this complex condition.” – The EveryGirl (source)

Alone Time

“Value your alone time. Many of us fear being alone, as we find ourselves lost in the maelstrom of our own thoughts without external distractions. Alas, with practice you can learn to use this time as a tool.” – The Diary of a Debutante (source)

Breathe Deeply

“Deeply and intentionally breathing allows us to fill our entire lungs with the good stuff, and benefit from the calming properties that come with it.” – Project Energise (source)

Join a Support Group

“Part of trauma-informed care is acknowledging that people who have experienced trauma can benefit from sharing their trauma stories and experiences with each other in a safe environment.” – Tia Hollywood at Happy Place (source)

Prevent Stressful Situations

“Consider whether the situation is avoidable – by this I don’t mean ignore or run away from your problems, which is almost never helpful. I mean whether you might be able to manage the situation differently so the problem doesn’t occur again.” – Yorkshire Stress Management (source)

Keep Moving Forward

“The unexpected falls, that happen so often when living with the uncertainty of chronic illness, can hit us hard. We have to dust ourselves off so many times and this is what can feel utterly exhausting on an emotional level. The fear comes in when we think ‘I don’t think I’ve got the strength to keep doing this,’ Yet somehow we do.” – Consciously Healthy (source)

Go to a Safe Place

“Wrap yourself in a blanket and drink something warm. This practice is all about comfort and security. Feel the warmth and the safety of being wrapped up while you enjoy a warm drink. Notice the flavour of your drink (perhaps tea or hot chocolate), the texture, the temperature and the aroma.” – Rachel Kable (source)

Slow it Down

“Take the foot off the life pedal. Our lives have become so busy and we are always looking for the way to get everything done yesterday. Generally this just serves to make us anxious rather than more productive.” – Love Me Love You (source)

Do Good for Others

“If you show people care and respect when they are in need, you’re more likely to have someone at your side when you are in need. So next time you want to invite positivity into your life, try practicing compassion, rather than trying to construct a fake reality that only includes the happy and prosperous.” – Betty’s Battleground (source)

Take Leaps of Faith

“Try to do one little thing that trusts the universe, yourself, or another person.  It doesn’t have to be anything monumental. As a matter of a fact, it shouldn’t be. Once you do it, the fears will get louder.  Express from them as you have been. Keep working on listening to your fear, but taking leaps of faith anyway.” – Beating Trauma (source)

Keep Trying

“I had been in a good place and I really felt like I was ready to be “normal” and do the things that most people are able to do and the realization that I wasn’t ready yet, and might not ever be, really bummed me out…but (there always seems to be a but – lol) and it’s a really big but, I stepped way outside my comfort zone and I survived; I may have triggered myself, but I survived.” – I’m Still Here (source)

Practice Mindfulness

“I was discovering that there was no need to identify the reason behind these feelings—at least not yet. Mindfulness, I was slowly beginning to learn, was not about avoiding or deeply analyzing feelings. It simply meant honoring my present state through careful observation.” – Everyday Mindfulness (source)

Exercise, even if it’s Light

“Simple exercise, if you can. It can be something as simple as taking the stairs up a flight, or walking around the block. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it doesn’t have to involve climbing a mountain or running a marathon.” – Baby steps. Rosalina Robertson, the DIY Couturier (source)

Distract Yourself with Self Care

“Apply lotion. If this isn’t a personal or sensory trigger, this can be grounding, an act of self-care and a distraction all in one!” – Beauty After Bruises (source)

Find Your Middle Ground

“For me, the middle ground is the best route forward. I carry on, and occasionally pause for a feeling fest, where any feelings that need to be heard are allowed to see the light of day, they are felt to fullest, honoured, respected, and then it is back to carrying on, “damn the torpedos” so to speak. This is how I deal with trauma and grief.” – Maggie Turner (source)

Give Yourself Permission to Struggle

“Give yourself permission to struggle and to feel the effects of your trauma. Don’t forget to reflect on your landmarks, too.” – We are Unquiet (source)

Although trauma may stick with you for some time, with the knowledge to address its effects both reactively and proactively, you will be in a more positive headspace to heal, cope with trauma, and move forward with life.

Haven Hills Recovery – Trauma Informed Care for Women