Trauma – with big t, little t or block capitals – affects more people than you might realise.
I hope you find these questions helpful – you may want to share your responses, journal privately, talk to a therapist (if my approach appeals – READ MORE – , get in touch) or trusted friend or loved one or simply let an image or answer bubble as you walk or swim or whatever else helps you get into your body and the present moment.
There’s strength in vulnerability – having the courage to feel ALL the feelings, to ask for support, to open up about what you want to share.
There’s also strength in feeling like you can’t crawl out of bed in the morning (or afternoon).
Trauma is so often not spoken about but has a physiological impact that is felt even when it’s not seen.
How can you better honour yourself for those times you’ve kept putting one foot in front of the other even when it felt impossible?
How can you find as many ways as possible to allow yourself to rest now that you’re through it? To ALLOW yourself a duvet day. To recognise that just because you ARE strong and HAVE made it through, you don’t have to keep pushing yourself…
Post traumatic growth can be a wonderful thing. And the idea of imagining something GOOD when you’re not there yet can be pressure you simply don’t need.
Whatever stage you’re at in your trauma recovery (and you HAVE survived. You have and will get through this), you might want to think about how things – and you yourself – are different. Not judging changes as positive or negative, simply being curious about how you feel about it all.
The photo above is of a hag stone – I adore these magical feeling rocks which have been shaped by the water – sea and rain. Some of the holes can be seen all the way through to the light at the other side of the rock.
When it’s cold and rainy, we add appropriate layers before going out.
When you think about the day (or week or simply hour) ahead, what stands out for you?
How might you put additional supports in place for anything that feels challenging?
My first experience of mountain living (as in, admiring the mountain from below – not living in the actual mountain) was as an undergrad at Bangor University in stunning north Wales.
Looking back, I was processing a lot but always remember how I could be completely constricted, stomping and ruminating and then catch a glimpse of Snowdonia through the buildings I was walking past and the beauty would make me pause. It would lift me up. And within seconds, I’d be back in my inner turmoil again – it kept happening but those little breaks helped me remember that ‘more than’ part of me and of everything.
I have way more self care tools at my disposal living in view of the mountains in glorious Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland now and the sight – especially when I’ve caught myself going down unhelpful mental rabbit holes, reminds me to look up in awe and wonder.
What landscapes (or something else) helps you?
I used to be embarrassed about chanting or singing in front of Rainbow MagnifiCat – some days, I still am!
But there’s something empowering about using our voices. Even a little chanting each morning can be a great tool to help us notice how we’re doing day to day.
Chanting can be especially helpful when healing from trauma as so often, we were unable to speak up for ourselves at the time. As with everything, go easy on yourself – be curious as you experiment with what feels good for you.
This video, made as a book bonus for 365 Ways to Feel Better has some ideas to help you start.
All of my work is trauma sensitive – my yoga classes, my counselling, coaching, the book.
One of the things that has helped me the most has been learning to work with the body, through yoga therapy, in a way to connect with my own healing capacity and I love sharing these simple and effective tools with clients and students.
Their simplicity and effectiveness doesn’t mean that you’ll always want to put in the effort but when you do, if you’d like my support (and you can access free tools and resources on my site and in other blog posts, too), I’d love to hear from you.