Past trauma can be triggered by different things. If yours is showing up or you are feeling overwhelmed here are some self-care tips to employ.
- Emotions are normal. It’s okay to feel and express your emotions. It may be that they are an appropriate response to an inappropriate situation. Let them out in ways that are not harmful to you or others. Crying, screaming, drumming, pounding your pillow, dancing while stomping your feet are great ways to let some of that emotion out. Once emotions are allowed to be expressed we may feel a bit better. The release and expression of emotions are needed and healthy.
- Pause, breathe and check with your self about what you need. Do you need rest, food, water, to be unplugged for a while, time in nature, exercise, spiritual nourishment? What? When you recognize what you need in the moment, do it. Don’t put it off, take time to do whatever your self has told you it needs.
- If you feel like this is trauma that needs to be heard; talk to someone like a trusted friend, self-help hotline or professional. If you are not ready to talk about it and you don’t have to talk about it unless you want to, you could write it down and then tear it up. Sometimes buried or suppressed trauma needs these things but only when you feel you are ready.
- Be kind and gentle with yourself. Recognize that your emotions and reactions may be sensitive and you may be more reactive than usual. That is normal when emotions and trauma have been repressed and are now triggered. Don’t be too hard on yourself and know this will pass as you express the emotions and care for yourself.
- Speak up. Let others in your life know that you are sensitive. You do not have to explain any further than that unless you want to do so. Say what you need and don’t.
- Retreat. If you need time alone, take it. Doing what is right for you includes time to be on your own if that is what you want.
- Honor what is right for you at this moment. It may change with each expression of emotion or trigger of past trauma. Go with what you need now.
- You are not alone. There are people who love you and people who understand that past trauma can be triggered. Reach out if you need help with what is happening and with what you are feeling.
- Recognize that you are so much more that the past traumatic event. You have many tools and resources both within you and at your command to assist you now.
- Notice one small thing to pull you into the present moment. The wonder and beauty of nature are great tools to use here. Being in the present moment is helpful in remembering that the traumatic memory is in the past.
I hold you in love and compassion as you express care for your self. – Shelly