Self-Care

How do I practice self care?

Good self care enables you to better care for others, especially if  you or someone in your life who has survived domestic or sexual violence. The principles of self care for friends and family are similar to the self-care concepts for survivors, but there are some additional aspects to consider.

  • Maintain your lifestyle. It can be difficult to stay emotionally strong if you are mostly focusing on the sexual assault. Maintaining your lifestyle and continuing to do what you enjoy is important for your emotional wellness. If you enjoy painting, cooking, exercising, spending time with friends, or other activities, keep them up. It may seem challenging to make time to do these activities, but they can be helpful self-care strategies in the long-run.
  • Make plans. Sometimes talking about what happened can help you cope with your feelings, and other times it can make you feel more stuck. Make plans that give you a break from talking or thinking about the assault. It could mean starting a new hobby or revisiting one you already enjoy. You could go to dinner with a group of friends who understand this isn't time to discuss what happened. Maybe you prefer a solo activity, like going on long walks. Let this be a time where you can take your mind off the assault.
  • Reach out and talk about it. It’s normal to have a difficult time processing the sexual assault of someone you care about. It can continue to be difficult as time goes on and the survivor begins the healing process. You can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit at online.rainn.org to chat with someone who understands what you’re going through. You can also consider talking to someone who is trained professionally to help you deal with these thoughts and feelings, like a mental health professional.
  • Take time to relax. Relaxation looks different for everyone. You might consider meditation or deep breathing exercises. Maybe journaling helps you sort through your thoughts and find peace. Build time into your day for these moments of relaxation so that you don’t skip out.

Adopted from: Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network

What are some examples of self care?

  • Positive Affirmations – Each day (or in stressful situations) think through some kind thoughts about yourself and your life. Remind yourself that you have taken steps to care for yourself that might seem easy but are very important, like taking a shower, getting out of bed, or going for a walk. Remind yourself that you are worth praising through nice notes about your appearance, goals, and confidence on your mirror or written down throughout your day.
  • Relaxation Exercises – Anything from breathing techniques to practicing meditation and creating bedtime routine can help to create a relaxing environment to heal and reflect.
  • Channeling pain into creativity – Taking up activities like poetry writing, short stories, journaling, drawing or dance serve as outlets to release and process emotions that might otherwise be overwhelming.
  • Physical Self-Care – Getting up and moving your body in a way that feels good to you can change your whole mood. If you’re not a person who loves the gym, you can go for a walk with a friend, do some stretches, or dance at home to some feel good music. Anything that allows you to connect to what your body physically needs in that moment.
  • Know and communicate your boundaries – Let others around you know up front what is and is not okay for you. This is especially important in the context of sexual partners but can be applied to any friends, loved ones, and acquaintances.
  • Ask for help – No one should be expected to go through life alone and everyone needs help from time-to-time. Asking loved ones for help with life feels overwhelming is important.
  • Remind yourself it is okay to walk away from situations that are too stressful or triggering.

Source: Victim Connect

HEALTHY ASHLAND APP

The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland's Healthy Ashland mobile app is a free, easy-to-use and offers quick access to mental health and stress relief resources for everyone in Ashland County, Ohio.

 The app connects you to:

  • simple ways to relieve stress
  • local family activities and resources
  • information about counseling services
  • quick access to crisis intervention tools

Utilizing these tools can help guide you to having a healthier and happier life.

Click here for more information and to download the app today! 

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