2006 Pandora’s Aquarium
Whatever stage of healing you are at after rape or sexual abuse, it is always important for you to take care of yourself. There are various ways of doing this and which ever ones work for you are the right ones. The following are just a few suggestions that you may like to try.
Keeping a Journal
Many survivors find that a journal is a good place to record any feelings they may be having about what happened. Journals can provide you with a very safe space to record any anger, frustration, fear, loneliness, triggers, guilt or doubt you may be experiencing. It can also be a good place to discuss any issues you wish to bring up with your therapist before you see them.
Can you sing, dance, act, write, draw or play an instrument? The arts can provide a wonderful outlet for your emotions and are also a brilliant way to reach out to others. The Pandora's Aquarium message board has its own creative arts forum. Check out the work of other people or submit your own.
General well being
It is so important that you look after yourself. You are precious and deserve the best care possible. You have been through a terrible ordeal and need to take extra special care of yourself. Make sure you start this off by eating properly and getting enough sleep. If you have food issues or are struggling with insomnia please seek professional help. Dealing with trauma is exhausting; you need all the energy you have!
Do you have a favourite film? A CD you have wanted for ages? A particular wine that you love? Get It!!!! You deserve it!!! While being silly with money is never beneficial, you are more than worth of having a wee treat when you are struggling.
This possibly ties into number 4 - find ways to relax. Getting a massage, running a bubble bath, eating ice cream! However you relax, make sure you make time for it, especially if you are having trouble sleeping. If you are having severe problems with insomnia please see your Dr.
Call a friend
Contact a friend, even if it is just for a chat. Contact with those who care about you will lift your spirit.
Exercise can be a great way of connecting with your body again. Go for a run or a walk, join a dance or aerobic class or go for a cycle ride. You will gain from the fitness and the time to yourself. Exercise is also known as a natural anti-depressant and if you join a class it is a great way to get to know people.
Get involved with Pandora's Project or a local rape activist group. Campaigning to make things better for survivor in the legal and health systems is a great way of channelling your anger.
They say laughter is the best medicine so rent funny movies, watch comedies on TV or go to a comedy club - anything that makes you smile.
Remember you are worth taking care of!
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