An Ongoing Commitment to You
Self-care is a popular term these days. In its simplest form, self-care means the things you do to take care of your physical and mental well-being. It includes those daily tasks like brushing your teeth and showering, to making sure you get a solid sleep nightly. But it can also mean finding ways to check in on your emotional health, taking time to notice how you’re feeling about yourself and life.
The experience of sexual trauma, especially from childhood, can make learning good self-care difficult. Insensitive comments from people around you, media like the ongoing #metoo news, and storylines from TV or movies can bring up all kinds of feelings related to your trauma.
If you are experiencing difficult feelings surrounding your trauma, it may be time to seek help from a professional.
Survivors often don’t like the idea of asking for help. Many people who have experienced trauma struggle with the idea that their needs matter and deserve attention. If you blame yourself for abuse or assault, remember that it isn’t – and was never – your fault. RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) has some excellent suggestions on ways to identify types of self-care that could be a fit for you.
One tip is to limit the news you watch or listen to, especially since reports on sexual violence can be sensationalized, graphic or shaming toward the survivor. If you do come across media coverage that’s upsetting or triggering, remind yourself that these experiences are not happening to you in that instant and that you don’t owe it to anyone to be familiar with these kinds of stories.
Your well-being matters.