Self-Care After Trauma

Self-care is about taking steps to feel healthy and comfortable. Whether it happened recently or years ago, self-care can help you cope with the short- and long-term effects of a trauma like sexual assault.

Physical self-care
After a trauma, it’s important to keep your body healthy and strong. You may be healing from injuries or feeling emotionally drained. Good physical health can support you through this time. Think about a time when you felt physically healthy, and consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • How were you sleeping? Did you have a sleep ritual or nap pattern that made you feel more rested?
  • What types of food were you eating? What meals made you feel healthy and strong?
  • What types of exercise did you enjoy? Were there any particular activities that made you feel more energized?
  • Did you perform certain routines? Were there activities you did to start the day off right or wind down at the end of the day?

Emotional self-care
Emotional self-care means different things to different people. The key to emotional self-care is being in tune with yourself. Think about a time when you felt balanced and grounded, and consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • What fun or leisure activities did you enjoy? Were there events or outings that you looked forward to?
  • Did you write down your thoughts in a journal or personal notebook?
  • Were meditation or relaxation activities a part of your regular schedule?
  • What inspirational words were you reading? Did you have a particular author or favorite website, like RAINN’s Pinterest board, to go to for inspiration?
  • Who did you spend time with? Was there someone, or a group of people, that you felt safe and supported around?
  • Where did you spend your time? Was there a special place, maybe outdoors or at a friend’s house, where you felt comfortable and grounded?

Self-care isn’t always easy to take on by yourself. To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE(4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.


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