Tuesday, February 25, 2014

ABC's of Healing

A is for awareness, which is always the first step! Take what you need from this list of tools from A-Z to support and assist with your healing or recovery.

A- Affirmations come in handy during times of stress (ie "May I be safe").

B- Being easy on yourself tends to be more beneficial than beating yourself up.

C- Compassion for yourself greatly enhances your healing process.

D- Do away with what doesn't serve your goals- and do more of what does.

E- Envision the life that you desire. Enjoy the process as much as you are able.

F- Faith is taking the first step when we can't see the whole staircase.

G- Go to places and people that guide you towards greater health and wholeness.

H- Healthy habits are not created overnight. Have patience. You're worth it.

I- I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. Anything is possible.

J- Just keep going. Journaling can be quite grounding.

K- Kindness heals. What would be a kind response to this situation?

L- Love yourself. Let go of what gets in the way. Let it be easy when it can.

M- Make time for you. Movies. Music. More of what you want.

N- No can be a great word. Say no to what doesn't feel right. You know what is best.

O- Over and over again. Healing is a process that occurs over time.

P- Put yourself first. Plan for some pleasure as part of your healing process. 

Q- Quiet time can be helpful. It's okay to have more questions than answers.

R- Rest up for the task at hand. Replenish, restore, and rejuvenate.

S- Slow down. Slow and steady wins the race. You have your whole life.

T- Take what you need. Trust that you have a right to be here.

U- Understand that you are the authority on your experience.

V- Value your whole self. We have to be vulnerable in order to heal.

W- What would you be doing differently if you were already "there?"

X- X marks the spot where your healing begins. Is this that spot for you?

Y- You deserve your own compassion. You have always been more than enough.

Z- Zzzzzzzzzz... Still awake? Nice work! :~)

What would your own list look like? What else would be on it? What wouldn't be on it? Use the alphabet or a word of your choice, like C-A-L-M, to get you started...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Taking Good Care of Ourselves

This Valentine's Day, let's consider a key ingredient to our healing from trauma: taking good care of ourselves. All types of trauma- from being bullied to surviving a sexual assault- are devastating and require our self-compassion to sustain and nourish our healing process. Do you feel that you have been impacted by trauma? If you do, how does this impact your choices in taking care of yourself?

Taking good care of ourselves in the context of healing from trauma means:

  • Valuing yourself and your right to be safe, happy, and healthy.
  • Learning to ground yourself and use safe coping skills in times of stress.
  • Knowing who you can call on and reaching out when you need support.
  • Making time to attend to your wellness through diet, sleep, and exercise.
  • Allowing yourself to play, have fun, and pursue pleasurable activities.
  • Taking reasonable measures to ensure your safety, such as having safe sex.
What common thread do you see running through these items? Taking good care of yourself is all about safety. We didn't feel safe when the trauma happened, but we can take steps to experience safety, now. In fact, we cannot heal without feeling safe. Taking good care of ourselves is a direct antidote for the disrespect and re-victimization that can result from trauma. The truth is, we deserve to feel safe.

On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not safe at all and 10 being as safe as you can imagine, how safe do you feel, now? How safe would you like to feel? What keeps your number from moving up or down the scale? How could taking good care of yourself change your number? Do you feel you're worth it?

This Valentine's Day, I am wishing you the heartfelt knowledge that you deserve your own love and affection...

For more in-depth information about the symptoms of trauma and types of treatment available today, check out my latest article, "Is Trauma Treatment Right for Me?" at The Banyan Tree Center.