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what is self care?

Self care is exactly what it sounds like! Learning how to care for ourselves is integral to helping us during difficult times of stress, especially after a traumatic incident. Self care can include things you can do for yourself like taking a nice bubble bath or going for a walk to relax, but it can also be making positive changes in patterns of your thoughts and behaviors that can contribute to your well being.

The best thing about self care is that it doesn’t take a lot of your time, and it can be whatever you want it to be! There are four types of self care: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. With each type, there are different ways to nurture that particular need. What works for some people may not work for others, so there may be some trial and error while you discover what suits you. You don’t have to start from scratch, though. We have listed some suggestions below to get you started!

physical self care

Taking care of your body is important. It doesn't mean that you have to look any certain way or meet any standards. The most important aspect of physical self care is that you feel good and enjoy it. Physical self care can be exercising and eating well, and it can also mean pampering yourself! Ways to take care of yourself might be...

Going for a walk or hike | Going on a bike ride | Stretching | Getting a good night's sleep or taking a nap to recharge | Eating a healthy meal | Washing your face | Taking a bubble bath | Getting a massage

emotional self care

Checking in with your feelings and emotions is important when it comes to being more self aware. It's important to understand what you are feeling, why you are feeling like that, and what behaviors/actions are manifesting in order to work through them in a healthy way. Ways to do this might be...

Writing your feelings down | Journaling | Expressing emotions through art, music, etc. | Positive self talk & affirmations | Talking to someone you trust (a friend, family member, counselor, support line, etc) | Allowing yourself to cry it out

mental self care

As necessary as it is to nourish and exercise your body, your mind is important too. Expand your knowledge on things you are interested in or are wanting to know more about. Ways to do this might be...

Reading a new book | Listening to an educational podcast | Watching a documentary on something that interests you | Learning a new language | Taking an online class | Doing a puzzle, crossword, or Sudoku | Exploring a new hobby

spiritual self care

We recognize that people can hold all kinds of beliefs and none at all. Spiritual self care doesn't require you to practice any particular religion. It is about being in tune with your inner self, your soul, and the world around you. Ways to connect with yourself might be...

Meditating | Praying (if applicable) | Surrounding yourself in nature | Saying/writing things that you are grateful for | Spending time in a place where you feel grounded | Doing yoga | Creating a sacred space

Charts & Guides

Another way to practice self-care and help ground yourself is to focus on your 5 senses

Reflection is also important to help you figure out what and why you are feeling what you are feeling, below we have an emotion wheel we hope will assist you with that.

While some people may show many emotions, others may show no emotion at all. Many survivors experience a roller coaster of emotions: numbness, shock, anger, sadness, shame, etc. Below we have a guide to manage feelings of stress, anxiety, and anger.