BASIC SELF-CARE PRACTICES FOR TRAUMA

CALMING ACTIVITIES

(For soothing, nurturing, or turning your mind away from unbearable emotions)

  • Treat yourself
  • Watch a movie
  • Take a warm aromatic bath
  • Get in to or close to water, water, water
  • Listen to uplifting music
  • Light candles
  • Turn your phone, Facebook and email off
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Lie on the grass or by the water and absorb the beauty of nature
  • Imagine embracing yourself as a child and as you are now
  • Grounding and centering exercises (mindfulness practice)
  • Yoga, trauma yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong
  • Write down all the things you’re grateful for
  • Take a nap in the middle of the day
  • Sleep in
  • Listen to positive affirmations, aspirations or guided meditations*
  • Cuddle your children or animals
  • Repeat simple mantras like, “I am safe”, as you go about your chores
  • Do normally mechanical chores (like washing up, eating, driving) with full concentration on the chore itself, directing your mind towards the minutiae of the experience. This is mindfulness in action.

ACTIVE ACTIVITIES

(Use the energy of anger, or rouse yourself from feeling frozen and helpless)

  • A de-clutter session
  • Pamper your body
  • Go for a mindful walk, run or swim
  • Do your best workout session or yoga class
  • Bounce a tennis ball off a wall with a racquet like a kid
  • Write letters you will never send or send to yourself
  • Make food you love to eat
  • Dance to loud music
  • Sing songs, hymns, mantras, whatever over and over until the energy changes
  • Play with your dog
  • Do something you’ve been meaning to get around to
  • Buy yourself or pick some flowers and arrange them the way you like
  • Paint a canvas, make a pot, knit a scarf, do something creative you haven’t done for a while
  • Challenge yourself with something you’ve never done before
  • Organise your closet
  • Give some special things to charity (let go)
  • Tear up old magazines and make a scrapbook of things, ideas, places you like
  • Write a thank you note to someone
  • Call an old friend and re-establish contact (go easy on explaining your troubles)
  • Go to a museum, art gallery, show
  • Do some gardening, planting, cleaning up your outdoor area
  • Re-arrange the furniture or redecorate a little bit
  • Paint a piece of furniture

Categories: SELF-CARE