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Nine Tips to Cope with Trauma

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Almost everyone experiences a traumatic event at least once in their life. A traumatic event is any event that causes extreme stress, a sense of hopelessness, helplessness, and the threat of injury or death. Such events can include facing any form of abuse, natural disasters, accidents, acts of terrorism, or more.

There is a high probability of trauma, especially in cities like San Francisco, where natural disasters such as wild fires may often engulf certain areas.

Traumatic events can lead to stress that can be quite overwhelming. On top of that, rents and taxes are insanely high in San Fransico, intensifying stress caused by traumatic situations. It can have many psychological effects such as grief, depression, fear, confusion, numbness, or a combination of different emotions. Moreover, trauma can also result in physical symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, changes in appetite and sleep, fatigue, racing heart, and more.

Trauma can leave you feeling helpless and vulnerable. The after-effects of trauma often go away with time. However, you may have chances of developing PTSD if these symptoms are consistent over a long time and affect your functioning.

Nevertheless, you should not lose hope. There are several ways to deal with trauma and its side effects. Following these tips regularly can help overcome traumatic stress and rejuvenate your mental health.

Here are some of the most effective ways to deal with trauma.

Consider consulting a therapist

Therapy is an excellent solution for dealing with any psychological distress you may face, including trauma. Therapy can help you face your fears and learn coping mechanisms that help deal with symptoms.

Choosing the right therapist can be confusing. So, you can ask family or friends for suggestions. You can also find a good therapy center by searching for therapy near me San Francisco CA, and setting an appointment at a center that suits you.

Be physically active

Although getting out of bed might be the last thing you want to do, physical activity is great for dealing with trauma. Not only does it give you something else to think about, but it is beneficial for your mental health as well.

It is not necessary to engage in a full-blown intensive workout. Instead, you can choose to go swimming, cycling, or whatever you like. Such activities will help you get out in nature as well. Furthermore, exercise releases the feel-good hormone endorphin. This hormone helps in elevating your mood and reduces stress.

Maintain a healthy diet and sleep schedule

Eating and sleeping may seem like a hard task when dealing with trauma. However, a healthy routine is essential for maintaining your health. Lack of sleep can create additional stress that can harm your mental health. Although stress, anxiety, and nightmares may keep you up at night, it is important to try your best to get enough sleep. For instance, avoid coffee and screen time before going to sleep. You can also engage in light exercise or relaxation techniques to stimulate sleep.

Similarly, a healthy diet can help battle some physical symptoms caused due to trauma. Moreover, a diet rich in nutrients can also help maintain hormone levels that are essential for optimal brain functioning. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, B2, calcium, iron, and vitamin D are some beneficial nutrients you can add to your diet.

Stay connected

Trauma can often lead to social withdrawal. You may feel like just staying in your room and trying to avoid social interaction. However, this is not a healthy way to cope. It is important to stay connected with your loved ones. Moreover, it is important to remember that your loved ones will always be there to listen to whatever you are feeling or thinking.

If you do not feel like talking about the traumatic event, that is fine and completely normal. You can talk about anything that you want. Engaging in social activities will help get your mind off disturbing thoughts and emotions.

Join a support group

Support groups can also help you deal with your trauma. Often other people have gone through similar traumatic situations or suffered collective trauma. This can include the loss of a loved one, an accident, a traumatic event such as a shooting, or a natural disaster. For instance, six of California’s major wildfires occurred in one year. Events like these can result in collective trauma and lead to the survivors developing PTSD.

So, joining a support group enables you to relate to others who have gone through similar experiences. This can provide immense emotional support.

Face your feelings

Ignoring your feelings will only make them pile up and get worse. Many people resort to denial or ignorance after a traumatic event. However, this can manifest in different ways and create problems later on. Additionally, it will also take longer to recover.

Thus, it is important to confront your feelings and allow yourself to feel everything without judgment. You should accept that you have suffered trauma, and none of it was your fault. Moreover, you should give yourself time to heal and recover.

Avoid alcohol or drug use

People often resort to alcohol or drug use to deal with trauma. This helps them escape reality and avoid facing their emotions. However, this is not a long-term solution. Also, prolonged substance use can create additional problems.

Try to reduce stress

Feeling stressed is common after dealing with trauma. So, it is important to adopt practices that help in stress reduction. It can include self-care activities or anything that brings you joy. Such activities include reading, having a spa day, going out with friends, exercising, joining a sports club, etc.

You can also reduce stress with the help of relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and meditation.

Limit media exposure

Limiting media exposure is essential for people who have gone through traumatic events covered by the media. Repeatedly viewing photos and videos can be emotionally tolling and make you relive the event. This can cause severe mental distress and also hinder your process of recovery.

Concluding thoughts

Traumatic events can leave you feeling scared, hopeless, and vulnerable. Moreover, they can take a toll on your mental health. So, it is necessary to adopt coping strategies that can help you heal from your trauma.

There are several ways of dealing with trauma. For instance, it is crucial to maintain your physical health with the help of exercise, a healthy diet, and sleep. Moreover, it is important to engage in social and stress-reducing activities and limit media exposure. However, if you feel like none of these strategies are working for you, it is crucial to seek professional help right away.

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My Random Musings

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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