Below are 12 ways you can help look after yourself after a traumatic event or situation:

  1. Recognise that you have been through a distressing experience and give yourself permission to experience some reaction to it. Don’t be angry with yourself for being upset
  1. Remind yourself that you are not abnormal and that you can and are coping
  1. Avoid overuse of alcohol or other drugs to cope
  1. Avoid making any major decisions or life changes
  1. Do not try to block out thoughts of what happened. Gradually confronting these thoughts will assist you in coming to terms with the traumatic experience.
  1. Share your experiences with others when opportunities arise. This may feel uncomfortable at times, but talking to people you trust rather than bottling up your feelings is helpful in dealing with trauma
  1. Try to maintain a normal routine. Keep busy and structure your day. Remember that regular exercise is important but also allow yourself time to rest if you are tired.
  1. Do not unnecessarily avoid certain activities or places
  1. Let your friends and family know your needs. Help them to help you by letting them know when you are tired, need time out, or need a chance to talk or just be with someone
  1. Make time to practise relaxation. Use a formal technique such as progressive muscle relaxation, or just make time to absorb yourself in a relaxing activity such as gardening or listening to music. This will help your body and mind to readjust
  1. If the trauma stirs up memories or feelings from an unrelated past event, try not to let the memories all blur together. Keep the memories separate and deal with them separately
  1. Express your feelings as they arise. Discuss them with someone else or write them down in a diary. Expressing feelings often helps the healing process.