Today’s blog post is about a serious topic that has affected my life in 2018. I can’t get into details for my own safety (and mental health), but I have spent the majority of this year trying to recover and become myself again. I’ve been frustrated about not feeling ‘okay’, and having to set boundaries I never had before – it’s a long process.
I hope none of you have been through trauma, but unfortunately it is a common part of humanity. Make sure to seek professional help, whether that be through the NHS, talking therapies, or the police if this relates to any crime against you. My university tutor was incredibly supportive by organising essay extensions and deferring my exams following the traumatic experience I endured, which was honestly life-saving. I am lucky enough to have a very supporting partner, friend group, and family, for which I’m eternally grateful.
I hope the advice in the guest blog post below helps even a single person, and make sure to remember that recovery is not linear. I had a panic attack only two days ago, after feeling much better for months – I’m still not 100% myself after an event that happened in April.
– Emily, x.
The Right Steps To Take After A Traumatic Experience
Any traumatic experience can lead to emotional overload. That overload can then cause very intense feelings that are often confusing and frightening. Knowing how to cope with a traumatizing event or experience is one thing, but implementing those coping strategies into your life can be very challenging. If you have suffered a traumatic event and you’re struggling to cope, there are some steps that you can take to help you. Make sure that you treat your trauma as a serious life factor, and your development process will be much smoother.
Your initial response
For many people, the negative thoughts and emotions caused by a traumatic event can fade over time. Not everyone copes in the same way though, and it’s essential that you bear that in mind at all times. Your recovery from trauma may be a slow process. Remember the following:
- There is no right way – While advice is always well-meant, remember that everyone copes in their own Don’t allow anyone to tell you how to think or feel.
- Avoid obsession – Trauma can be very difficult to forget, which is why you need distractions. The more that you can keep your mind occupied, the less you will obsess over your trauma.
- Resume your routines – We all find comfort in familiarity. Returning as much as possible to your usual routine is highly recommended. Minimize the life disruption as much as you can.
- Ignoring your feelings – Bottling up your emotions is never healthy. Don’t be afraid to talk about how you’re feeling, and don’t feel guilt over negative emotions.
Focus on security
Experiencing a traumatic event can make it difficult to return to work, and that can make it very difficult to keep yourself financially secure. Remember that there are avenues to explore that can safeguard your bank balance. If you suffered a traumatizing accident at work, speak to legal professionals, such as The-compensation-experts.co.uk, who have the experience to fight for any compensation you may be entitled to. Trauma comes in many shapes and forms, and even if there are no physical consequences of your ordeal, you can still be entitled to financial compensation.
Tips and coping strategies
The more that you develop your coping strategies, the easier your recovery from trauma will be. This checklist is a good stepping stone to working out just what you personally need in order to move on from your trauma.
- Reduce your exposure to media – It is hard to regain control of your emotions after suffering trauma, and sometimes seeing negative news stories can cause you to re-experience the same feelings as the trauma itself. Avoid watching distressing media stories or entertainment. If you need to take a total break from the news, that’s fine too.
- Be patient – You need to have time to heal, especially if there is any loss involved. Take the time to mourn and process your emotions. Never try to rush your recovery.
- Challenge yourself – One of the most useful coping strategies after a traumatic event is to take action. Taking positive steps that helps others is a common way to deal with feelings of hopelessness and fear. Consider volunteering at a local charity, donate blood, and connect with others.
Your recovery is going to take time. Get support wherever you can and remember that whatever the trauma, you can recover. Address your negative emotions, and your traumatic event does not have to be the defining moment of your life.
All the best, Emily.