Experiencing sexual trauma comes with a long list of impacts that often come in the form of psychological, physical, or behavioural. These after-effects are completely normal to face post-trauma because what you have been through is an extremely difficult life-altering experience.
However, just because you may be facing these impacts, it doesn’t mean you have to live with them. It can take time and it can take patience to overcome them or reduce them as much as possible, but it IS possible and at StrengtheningHER, we want to help you.
We have gathered our top 3 tools to help you reduce the impact of sexual trauma that you may not have heard of or may not be sick of hearing about yet, and we hope that you will find these useful.
These tips can be used for anyone experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, not just victims of sexual trauma.
We will, also, be sharing so many more, even activities, workbooks, and guided meditations, over on our Facebook group that you can join (but… more about this later).
Our Top 3 Tools:
The Toe Technique:
The toe technique (as we like to call it) is a form of Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) that helps to relieve anxiety and escape from negative thoughts and feelings. It is a super simple technique that you can even do in bed when you’re at most vulnerable to overthinking!
How to do this:
Sit or lie in a comfortable position
Point your toes as much as you can (don’t do it too hard or you will get cramp!) and squeeze tightly for around 20 seconds, taking a few breaths while doing so.
Feel the stress in the tightening of your feet…
Now, relax your feet by pointing your toes a little towards your head, again taking a few breaths, and feel how the tightness releases.
How does this help?
Practicing PMR a few times a week helps you to, physically and psychologically, understand the feeling of letting go and being relaxed. This can, therefore, help you to reduce your anxieties by letting go of tension when anxiety may arise.
You can also do this with your hands, shoulders, or other muscle group.
Buy yourself a plant
Yes, you read that right. Go to your local florist or supermarket, buy a plant and tend to it.
Not only do plants have healing power just by existing (literally… research says that the presence of plants can increase anxiety by 37%), but by tending to it and giving it what it needs to grow helps you to reduce impacts of trauma.
Often with sexual trauma, you may feel that your sense-of-self and purpose has been ripped from you. By tending to a plant, you are providing yourself with a purpose.
If you don’t give that plant water, or sunlight, or whatever it may need, it will deteriorate, and if you don't tend to yourself, so will you.
Re-gain your purpose by looking after this plant, and once you get into that routine… do it for you. Tend to yourself with the purpose that you would tend to your plant. This can not only reduce your anxiety but also reduce feelings of depression by 58%.
In the words of Meredith Grey… Dance it out:
When feelings of overwhelm, sadness, anxiety, despair, etc. arise, one of the most positive and healthy things you can do for yourself is to simply dance.
It may sound silly, but it’s fun and very effective.
When you’re at home and these feelings arise, put on your favourite song that makes you feel good, turn up the volume and dance, jump, and sing along.
Let go of the tensions and the thoughts you are facing and put everything you have into that song.
Music has the power to boost serotonin levels, as does dancing.
It gives you a few minutes to simply let go of your thoughts and helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression… all common effects of sexual trauma.
So, you may have heard of them but even so… give it a go.
As we said earlier, our facebook group “StrengtheningHER” is the place to be to have constant access to resources, activities, advice from a qualified hypnotherapist, a safe space to reach out, and so much more.
Opening on 23rd January, get signing up now to be one of the first members (it’s free!)
We just ask that you are female and that you read through our set of rules to allow a safe environment for all.
Click the image above to send a request to the group!