Recovering from trauma is a process that takes time. It is perfectly normal to feel at times that “I can’t do this anymore.” That is part of the stress that arises from parenting through traumatic situations. However, in order to not get stuck there, you need to take care of yourself. If you are not good to yourself emotionally, you can break down emotionally and physically.
Helping your family navigate through trauma is stressful, draining and difficult, however it is not impossible and there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. Remember taking care of yourself during this difficult time is extremely important towards moving forward. You can decrease your stress level by:
1. Reminding yourself that your responses are normal to stressful situations. Give yourself permission to take a break and relax. Listen to your body and your mind. If you are tired take a nap. If you are full of “rage” go to the gym.
2. Talk to people as much as you need to about what you are experiencing. Reach out to friends or family. Share you feeling with someone you trust. It is never beneficial to you to hold in your feelings. Everyone needs an outlet.
3. Try to spend time with others. It helps in not feeling alone and can be comforting. Spending a great deal of time alone, can feel alienating and send you into a depression.
4. Do not put pressure on yourself to solve the trauma immediately. Trauma has a way of unraveling at its own pace and in its own way. Also, try not to make any major life changes during this time.
5. Give yourself permission to cry, rage and express your feelings appropriately when you need to. Holding in these feelings just blocks your road to recovery.
6. Make an effort to do things that help you feel good-self-nurturing is a critical aspect to managing your feelings about the traumatic situation you are going through. Take a walk when you need to, get a massage, watch television, have a coffee or meet a friend for lunch.
About Dr. Sue
Dr. Sue Cornbluth is a nationally recognized parenting expert in high conflict parenting situations. Dr. Sue is a mental health contributor for national television shows such as NBC, FOX and CBS. She also contributes to several national publications. Her best-selling book, “Building Self-esteem in Children and Teens who are Adopted or Fostered” is available now. To find out more about her work visit www.drsueandyou.com.