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Self-Care and Surviving the Storm: Reclaiming Life After Trauma

Happy Self-Care Day! In the spirit of International Self-Care Day, I will be discussing the topic of trauma, PTSD, and how to care for ourselves after living in survival mode.

Please be advised that the information here, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


There is a battle that those facing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and people living in intense survival mode wage every day. Living in survival mode can heighten our senses, but it also prevents us from fully enjoying the present. To escape this state, self-care becomes essential, confronting our demons with resilience. As they say, the greatest battles produce the most profound victories. I know this to be true on a personal level, and my experience of healing has taken me on the quest for long term relief, self-compassion, and learning to be more patient. Memories of disturbing experiences can become something of a prison, locking sufferers in a state of consistent pain and triggers that wind us up, forcing us to react in unhealthy ways using unhealthy coping mechanism. But with the right tools and steady determination, these chains can be broken.


There is much we can learn from this condition, and of living in survival mode. On the positive side, this way of living acts as an ever-present vigilant protector, heightening our senses. The downside however, is that it also forces our body to stay alert to danger, and blinds us from enjoying the beauty of the present moment. Escaping this state requires mastering the art of self-care, and building a sanctuary of safety to confront our demons head-on. By recognizing signs of lingering trauma and learning to respond with resilience, instead of fear, we can banish the shadows of our past.


Identifying the Signs of Survival Mode:

  1. Overreacting: Little things set you off, and you react disproportionately to the situation, like getting angry at your loved ones for small mistakes.

  2. Anxiety and Panic: You constantly worry, think of worst-case scenarios, and suffer from anxiety or panic attacks.

  3. Physical Symptoms: You experience frequent illnesses, headaches, body aches, and digestive problems due to stress.

  4. Lack of Passion: You've lost interest in things you once enjoyed and feel unfulfilled in life.

  5. Morning Stress: Mornings start with a tight feeling in your stomach and chest, setting a negative tone for the rest of the day.

  6. Low Energy Levels: You constantly feel tired and struggle to find the energy to do daily tasks, preferring to stay in bed.

  7. Poor Memory and Focus: You struggle to concentrate and have a hard time remembering things.

  8. Sleep Difficulties: You have trouble falling asleep and experience disturbing dreams, leaving you feeling even more tired the next day.

  9. Lack of Personal Time: There's no time for yourself, and you are always busy attending to others' needs.

  10. Reactive Behavior: You feel overwhelmed and at the mercy of external events, reacting to everything rather than being proactive.

Recognizing these signs is essential to take steps toward reducing stress and finding ways to cope with overwhelming situations. Taking time for self-care, seeking support, and practicing relaxation techniques can help regain control and create a more balanced life. There are ways to combat this immense stress and the burden of living in survival mode, even after years of it, which I will highlight below:

Therapy:

This can become one of the main antidotes to living in survival mode and PTSD. It can be a combination of individual and/or group sessions to navigate the unstable terrain of trauma. Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and other forms of treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), can work as beacons of light guiding survivors through the labyrinth of harmful thought patterns. Medication and Supplements:

These can play a crucial role in alleviating anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Also, the consuming of foods high in magnesium, B vitamins, and calcium are beneficial to potentially improve PTSD and stress symptoms in general.


Engaging in mindfulness practices:

This is part of self-care that becomes a sacred ritual of healing. Being mindful can help us unearth hidden treasures of the present, discovering that the world still holds wonder and goodness despite our scars.


Seeking help and support from others: To many, seeking help may seem weak, and the ego does not like this "admission of defeat," but in reality it is a badge of valor, and a testament to the courage in confronting our pain and insecurities. And anyone who does not see the bravery it takes to be authentic and true, is not the type of person that is meant to be a part of your life. By being loving and true to ourselves, the universe will guide us to the right souls who accept, cherish, and love us for all the intricacies and "flaws" that make us the unique and beautiful beings we are.


When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable we can create authentic connections with others, easing our isolation and fear of being different. As we reconnect with ourselves and others, we find that our scars are symbols of triumph, not shame.


Through therapy, and various self care practices we can find the tools to rebuild our shattered selves, and repair broken spirits. We don't have to merely surviving; they're truly live. Storms may have damaged our lives, but we can emerge stronger and ready to embrace the future we once thought we lost.

In the end, it is not the trauma that defines us, but in our bravery in overcoming it. When we defeat this hardship, we can be living proof of the power of hope, the strength of resilience, and the beauty of reclaiming life after trauma


Please be advised that the information here, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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