Trauma Therapist Tips for Self-Care
Most of us feel we live pretty busy lives and, more often than not, we wish we had more “me time.” We are all different, so self-care means different things to different people. Self-care includes actions and activities that help us reach balanced health, emotionally and physically. Since denying self-care can lead to physical and emotional unbalance, it’s important to find what works for you. For those who have suffered trauma, this is particularly significant. As any many trauma therapists, or therapists in general, would tell you, mental health challenges sometimes separate us from self-care, as they reduce our interest in some pleasurable things. Strong emotions can distract us, isolate us, and even convince us that we are not worthy of good things.
What is self-care?
Self-care can include taking a long bath, getting a haircut or a facial, eating at a favorite restaurant, going to a movie, or taking a walk on a beautiful day. For some, self-care means making or keeping an appointment with their physician or therapist. We care for our physical body by tending to its needs, and we take care of our emotional being by learning tools to help manage our anxiety and anger.
If you’re needing inspiration, here are eleven ideas for self-care that you can steal from trauma therapists:
- Go to the library and check out a book – one that you’ve wanted to read but haven’t for whatever reason. Commit to and spend a few minutes each day reading. Cherish that time.
- In the morning, ignore social media and the news. Instead, start your day with something that inspires you. What works for you? Music, tea and toast, a walk around the block, some gentle yoga or stretching?
- Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Don’t over think it. I’m grateful for…fresh air, food in the fridge, my favorite jacket, my childhood hero…keep going until you’ve reached the bottom of the page.
- Get your social on. Make a date with a friend or family member on your next day off.
- Plan a personal retreat or a short vacation with your family.
- Make a healthy lunch for work or school, rather than eating out.
- Plan an evening at home with a friend or partner. Watch a funny movie, make personal pizzas, and put your feet up on the coffee table.
- Go to that early morning yoga class you’ve been meaning to try (or return to), or head to the gym.
- Go get a haircut, a mani-pedi, or a massage.
- Get some extra sleep. Head to bed one hour earlier than you usually do. Turn out the light and imagine yourself headed somewhere amazing.
- On the next warm, sunny day, head to the beach or a park and take your shoes off. Feel the earth beneath your feet. Breathe deeply. Reconnect.
Self-care doesn’t have to be done routinely in order to be effective, but done regularly, it can greatly improve physical and mental health. Done routinely, we find ourselves wanting more of it. Don’t feel guilty about it – do it. Welcome to balanced living.
If you are in need of help recovering from unhealed trauma, please give us a call. Our caring, compassionate trauma therapists are here to help.