6 effective ways you can nurture your emotional health
A guide to survive emotional abuse
Dealing with the aftermath of emotional abuse is the hardest part of the recovery journey for any women survivors.
Many symptoms such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, anger, mood swings, numbness can occur while your body is trying to make sense of the pain, the hurt and the emotional distress. This is a very challenging time.
That is why it is ever so important to consult a health professional and ask for support immediately.
I have been there myself after surviving 18 years of emotional abuse and my support network helped me cope with these symptoms.
The cheerful person that I used to be was longing to resurface but how can you when you are crippled with pain and flashbacks? Well, healing at your own pace is key here.
I had a strong desire to be proactive regarding my recovery and this helped me progress even more. I started slowly though. Knowing that I had 2 children to raise on my own so for their sake I had to get better and for my sake I had to believe in myself.
When your healing journey starts, there are ways for you to look after your emotional health while you heal. Having the motivation to be better and feel positive emotions again is very encouraging and it will prepare your brain to look out for these positive feelings.
So what can you do yourself?
Here are 6 effective ways you can follow:
1- Celebrate being out of the relationship (with a good cry of relief or opening your arms sending thanks and gratitude messages to the Almighty, writing a letter to yourself or even partying with the girlfriends). Celebrate in your own way!
From that day on, celebrate all your little wins too that you achieve every day: doing a chore, catching up with a friend, sobbing out the pain and the hurt, watching a good TV program, smiling at yourself in the mirror. All these little wins become big wins at the end of a week or a month. Celebrating brings joy (and good endorphins) in your brain and that is the healing power of joyfulness!
2- Look for support (only from those who can listen without judging, who can accept and validate your pain) and talk about your trauma. Join a group online or locally and share your story. It’s another way to get validation and to accept your trauma. You also realise that people have lived similar stories and not only understand you but your pain too. “We say together we are stronger” but this phrase applies itself very well in this context. You will feel stronger when sharing your story with others and liberated too. Why? By doing so you are releasing all these difficult emotions attached to the abuse and you are doing it the healthiest way possible so well done!
3-Realise that you are the master of your own life and that you have your power back. You are free to live your life as you want so empower yourself by making decisions and expressing your needs. You don’t know where to start, you are confused? That is totally normal, here you can start by asking yourself these 2 questions: What does [your name] want? What does [your name] need?
4- Set personal boundaries. In your relationship, your personal boundaries were crossed purposely to make you comply but now you are no longer being controlled. You need to reset some strong and firm boundaries. Imagine someone barges into you in the street and does not even apologise. Something inside you will tell you that you have been done wrong and you will feel very uncomfortable and even assaulted. Well these are your gut feelings tugging at you or your inner voice raising its voice, saying to put a stop to it and take action.
Your body will react to any transgressions that have been done to you now (in the abusive relationship you had learned to suppress these feelings so you could survive).
They will reappear so learn to listen to them as this is the way your body talks to you. Acknowledge what feels wrong and why and then work on putting it right by expressing how you want to be treated by others (even family members and friends!). That is the solution for you to assert yourself again. Rehearse with your best friend first until it becomes natural!
5- Buy a pretty notebook, call it “My Recovery Journal” and start writing about the highs and lows of your healing journey. It will emotionally strengthen you and empower you to get better. It will also bring you clarity and help you come to terms with some painful events and feelings that you have. The power is in your pen as we say and journaling is a powerful tool to use to help you release buried emotions. You will come out relieved, liberated and happy to have a non-judgemental and safe way to express yourself.
6- Finally and most importantly, set yourself a self-care plan and do something for you daily. Looking after yourself will boost your self-esteem. Sport, healthy food, hobby, going out, whatever you used to do and still enjoy make it part of your new daily routine.
This will give you a sense of value, strengthen your self-worth and at the same time raise your confidence. By sticking to your self-care plan you will feel in control and be proactive in your own recovery.
Isn’t it a great feeling to be in charge of your own life??!!
I want the best for you because I have been there too and I have recovered. I know you can too, you are not alone.
Visit www.lyblwellnessretreat.com and join the Facebook group A.W.S.E.A; Amazing Women Survivors of Emotional Abuse.
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