April can be a hard month for a lot of trauma survivors. With Easter being at the beginning of the month, and spring playing peek-a-boo with chilly rain, trauma survivors sometimes feel a little (or a lot) down. I know for me April the month is just hard, and I want to share how I’ve been working through these pesky trauma anniversaries.
I usually have four tricks up my sleeve for these hard times.
- Communicating with others
- Being creative
- Practicing self-care
- Remembering affirmations
“P.T.S.D. doesn’t make you weak. It makes you a survivor.” – DaShanne Stokes
Communicating with others:
Communication is so important in your everyday life anyway, but if you’re a trauma survivor it is especially important to be able to connect with others and be pulled out of that traumatic place. Personally, I’ve found that even having friends online and reading their posts helps me feel less alone. It’s important to remember that there is another person on the other side of that screen, someone with life experiences that may be similar to your own.
Having people in real life can help too. I’m just an introvert! A way of getting out and being around people is by going shopping. If you don’t like large crowds (like me) try and choose a store with less traffic. Pick a store that sells things you enjoy and maybe buy yourself something small, just for getting dressed, ready, and making it out of the house.
Having any kind of outlet can help distract you from traumatic memories. Creative outlets can be helpful because it gets your mind moving. Movement is key to shifting around trauma around in your mind. Having a creative outlet can also connect you with others. Drawing is thinking so they say.
Not all creative outlets are drawing though. Below are some of my favorite ways to be creative.
- Knitting/crochet (can be good for keeping your hands occupied to ward off SH urges.)
- Writing (poetry or prose)
- Dancing (like no one is watching)
- Body art (i.e: drawing with nontoxic materials on your arms/legs)
Try one off the list or try them all.
Self-care is important to make routine in your every day but during trauma anniversaries it is especially important to show yourself some love.
You may need to be more careful with yourself on those days. Take things slowly, take a relaxing nap or bath, read a favorite book. Do anything you feel would make yourself feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Remember your affirmations:
These are important to start using before the trauma date happens. If you’re already using them then remember to repeat them to yourself. Remember to do the ritual you have surrounding them too if you’re able. Don’t slack off and let your abuse words change your habits.
Overall, keeping yourself to your regular schedule while also making some time for self-care and some creative time is what I suggest.
How do you cope with trauma days? Comment your ways down below so others can get ideas!