When you’re healing from trauma, it’s normal to have tough days, in which you don’t feel your best. You may not have the energy to get out of bed, you may be more sensitive to triggers and so on.
Low periods are inevitable, and they do not mean you’re regressing in your recovery from trauma. Instead, they can be an opportunity for you to be more in tune with yourself and your needs. Here are eight ways to get through a challenging day.
1. Allow Yourself to Feel Your Feelings
When you experience negative emotions, your initial instinct may be to avoid these feelings and force yourself to be happy or even just neutral. It can be especially troublesome being around other people when you feel as if you’re burdening everyone with your negativity. As a result, you may push yourself away from the ones you love, making it more difficult to heal.
Rather than suppress your emotions, allow yourself to feel what you need to feel. Whether that’s journaling your thoughts or crying, giving yourself permission to let go of your feelings can make them feel lighter and more manageable.
2. Where Are Your Feelings Coming From?
Research shows that the body and mind are connected. When going through a difficult time, it’s common for those feelings to show up in specific areas of your body, like your stomach and head. In fact, chronic aches and gut problems can be a sign of unprocessed trauma. Identifying where your feelings are resting can be a helpful way in relieving them.
3. Work on Your Self-Care
On a tough day, check in with yourself, and recognize what self-care you really need. If you feel disconnected, spend quality time with your friends. If you feel overwhelmed, clear your schedule and have a bit of alone time. Let this be a time where you can replenish parts of your well-being that may be lacking.
4. You're Allowed to Rest
Negative emotions can be quite draining. Especially during instances of high anxiety, you may feel physically and mentally exhausted and in need of a break. Whether that’s staying in bed or meditating, allow yourself to rest your mind, body and soul. You deserve it!
5. Be Honest With Your Support System
Having a strong support system can make getting through a tough day easier. Although you may feel guilty for opening up to them, because it feels as if you’re burdening them, your loved ones are here for you. Sharing your struggles and seeking support can make you feel less alone.
6. Write It Down in a Journal
For the days where opening up to another person is too difficult, write down what you’re feeling in a journal, like the one found in the Mira app. Journaling your thoughts can be useful in releasing your pent up energy, as well as giving you a resource to reference in the future. That way, if you experience similar negative feelings, you can refer to your journal to recognize patterns and find ways to manage your symptoms.
7. What is Your Inner Voice Saying?
The way you speak to yourself matters tremendously. When you’re experiencing a tough day, notice the words you say to yourself and how they make you feel. Then, practice self-compassion by saying to yourself “My feelings are valid” and “It’s normal to have a bad day.” In other works, speak to yourself as you would talk to a friend who’s going through a rough time.
Instead of being self-critical or forcing yourself to be positive, validating your feelings gives you a safe space to express your emotions without hiding them in fear or guilt. This way, you can comfortably work through your struggles and find relief.
8. Healing Isn't Linear
As you heal from your trauma, it’s okay for your emotions to fluctuate. Difficult days are inevitable and a normal part of the healing process, but they don’t mean you’re weak or falling back in your trauma recovery. With a setback, you can learn that you’re capable of coping with difficult emotions or that distressing emotions don’t last forever.
The most important thing to remember is give yourself permission to feel and don’t give up on taking care of yourself. Each of your emotions are valid.
If you’re experiencing a difficult time, you’re not alone, and there is hope. Leaning on your support system, speaking with a mental health professional and using a self-help tool, like the Mira app, can be useful in your healing. With grounding exercises, a journal and more, Mira is here to support you. For more blog posts on trauma and PTSD, check out our blog!