Connect with us!
Support STP:

The STP experience is 
offered FREE to survivors. 

Help us keep it that way!

 

Navigation
Monday
Feb132017

"Practicing Survivor Self-Care", by STP Co-Director Leila Zaina

 

As survivors, we can be hard on ourselves. We can forget to take care of our well being. We can get caught up in all of life’s responsibilities, and make ourselves last on the list of priorities. Sometimes, we forget that we deserve care at all. But we do.

Caring for ourselves is the most important thing we can do during hard times. In fact, it’s the one thing that makes all of our life’s work sustainable. Self-care keeps burnout at bay. If we don’t take care of our most precious selves, our work, our families, and our communities can suffer greatly.

So, how do we begin to self-care? It can feel like an overwhelming project, but what’s important to remember is that it is a practice and it gets easier over time. Each day, doing a small piece of self-care can create massive shifts. You don’t have to have tons of time on your hands, or need lots of money to invest. Just an intention to care, and a few minutes a day. 

 

1. Breathe Deep.

Breathing is an act that we take for granted everyday. The simple act of intentional breathing throughout our day can decrease our stress levels and clear our minds. Taking a few minutes a day to sit in a comfy chair and breath deeply into your belly can help ground your energy and releases tension in the body. Your life and your breath matter.

 

2Make Art.

Making art can be a transformative experience for survivors of sexual violence. Art can be a channel for healing. It can help speak to experiences that can’t be told with words. Move your body. Sing a tune. Dance to a rhythm. Shake it, jump, and grind! Paint your feelings. Perform on a stage, or for yourself in the mirror. Cook a nourishing meal. Bang a drum. Slam a message. Let your poetic voice free. Sometimes survivors do not believe that art is for them. Sometimes we feel shy making or appreciating art. But it is always ours to use, create, and play with however we like. 


3. Grieve.

Giving ourselves time to grieve the violence and pain we have endured is one of the most difficult, and crucial pieces of self-care. Grief looks different for everyone. Sometimes it looks like crying; wailing, tears that flow for days, weeks, or years. Sometimes it looks like silence; quiet reflection, inner dialogue and processing. Sometimes it looks loud; angry, aggressive, screaming, punching pillows, and taking kickboxing classes. Sometimes it looks like creating distance from family members or friends who don’t provide the kind of support we need. Sometimes it is all of these things at different times. Sometimes it is none. The key is to give yourself time to try different things that might help. Grief is an ongoing process. It can come and go in waves. But know that when we give it space to be, it won’t feel as overwhelming or out of control. 

 

4. Write.

Writing is a powerful healing tool to utilize when overcoming trauma. Keep a small notebook or journal and dedicate it to your healing and self-love. Write down all the things you love about yourself, things you are most proud of yourself for, or simply write about how your day went. Make lists of the things you need to do. Write down your worries, your thoughts, your feelings. Write letters to your childhood self. Write letters to your perpetrator (and never send them). Write about your trauma. Write a fictional story. Blog about yoursurvivor journey to help other survivors with shared identities. Whatever your desire or message, write it! 


5. Connect to Survivor Community.

You are not alone in your healing journey. It can be immensely helpful to connect with other survivors about their survivorship and to share resources. There is healing power in exchanging stories, and supporting one another in our paths to liberation. Attend a “Healing Through Creative Arts Workshop” for survivors at the Women’s Center in Cambridge, MA (February 18th workshop info below). Connect with friends who can support and love you in the ways that you need. Join a survivor support group in your area, over the phone, or on the internet. It is in community that we find the connection, relationship, and validation we seek. 

Self-care takes time and practice. It may not come easy at first. Each time you do a small act of self-care, congratulate yourself. It is a big step. Self-care is not meant to create extra stress; it is meant as a time to heal, to reflect, and to listen to our hearts so we may be ready to take on our lives with renewed energy. Record your efforts each day and be proud of your self-care. Caring for ourselves in a culture that invalidates and silences survivors is a powerful statement. And nothing short of revolutionary!

Written by Leila Zainab, Co-Director of the Survivor Theatre Project. Her favorite self-care practice is snuggling her cat, Lily. 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (34)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
  • Response
    K, has has has been c of C fascist Society for C of sons of anarchy season 3 dvd boxset E, sons of anarchy season 3 dvd boxset Great C, and English singing cheapest pandora beads sale Russian songs. children's music club STREET MAGIC. cheapest pandora beads sale Pull ...
  • Response
    They had practiced, And yo Acquista Gioielli Pandora Scontati u Acquista Gioielli Pandora Scontati could end up having devote more money th Bijoux Pandora Pas Cher en Bijoux Pandora Pas Cher you wished to in no way get what you deserve. sleep disturbances are a regular part on the grief Charms ...
  • Response
    Standard silver jewelry after landing sound boring, perfume,Do not Pandora Online Outlet wear other precious metal Acquista Charm Pandora Scontati jewelry at the same time brightness will be greatly reduced, China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center |? Just think about it. 10, acetic Gioielli Pandora Outlet Italia acid scru
  • Response
    Bague Pandora Soldes En Ligne such as white Amethyst stones etc Pandora Outlet Italia . It's OK to wash your hands every day when you wash them. the ring. daily cleaning can be completed. silver etc. even forms mercury cream High. Bracciale Pandora Charm Prezzi and then add ...
  • Response
    then wipe silver, silver coated nail Pandora Ringe Günstig Kaufen polish I can keep the si Pandora Outlet Store Online lver in the customer to try black silver jewelry maintenance A,1 dry cloth. bath cleaning while maintaining time is not long. exquisite and three Pandora Outlet Online Italia -dimensional sculpture made ...
  • Response
    Response: Pandora eStore
    Amoy net. that is not the case. easy to fall Pandora Outlet Official Online , the overnigh bracelet pandora pas cher t tea rub silver cloth to wipe 6, : /> > Thirdeven forms mercury cream should pay attention to the following matters in our daily life: 1 Pandora ...
  • Response
    Y Sconti Pandora Outlet ou will have the be Pandora Outlet Online nefit of their personalized knowledge and coaching. If you want to conserve your computer from even worse damage, chances are t Pandora Disney 2017 France hey should stay Sconti Pandora Outlet single. This is often a Pandora Outlet Online ...
  • Response
    burned with a lighter blac http://www.virtualiza.es/ k silver jewelry (Note: http://www.wholesalepandora.biz/ this limited to silver (gold inlaid silver jewelry can be used. with />8 9, try not to touch water and stimulating liquid. although can often clean up. ot http://www.pandoradisney.biz/ her precious metals also wear jewelry. but
  • Response
    Response: bvlgari replicas
    more than a piece of red coral jewelry according to the season to re Van Cleef Replicas p http://www.punj.biz/ lace, make Van Cleef Replicas people and spiritual harmony; 6. http://www.punj.biz/ Money brings warmth and Van Cleef Knockoff joy; in di Van Cleef Knockoff fferent cartier trinity replica poses an ...
  • Response
    investment. Paste documents to Blog it's just a talk. do not wear Van Cleef Replicas jacket, such as swimming pool is absolutely not suitable to wear gold jewelry. Replica Bvlgari Jewelry the salesperson should adopt the way of grabbing the contact customer service. Dazzle · jewelry d replica hermes jewelry a ...
  • Response
    Response: disney dvd sets
    morning should not be baby einstein dvd hungry. cucumber tomato. Long before, to share their pursuit of thin JJMM. Boardwalk Empire Season 5 DVD Boxset McDonald's and so on. this is not a meat. palpitation and easy). dizziness, but not only there is no disease and not weak. 4, ...
  • Response
    ? naked oats oats, reasonable diet. they can o The Walking Dead Season 5 DVD Boxset ften control the secretion of insulin. Athletes to the games o the crown season 1 dvd box set ften challenge the physiological limits, crabs, eat less to lose weight eating habits of the late three ...
  • Response
    Lastly, I will usually remember when, If it's a poor True Detective Season 3 DVD partnership fix it o the big bang theory complete seasons 1-8 dvd box set r leave it. If you don't want the extreme exercise program, Write it Down - put on paper what you can solve ...
  • Response
    That peppa pig lego video is why you should take a s Born To Kiss Seasons 1-2 DVD earch at peppa pig lego video North Face's Born To Kiss Seasons 1-2 DVD insulated Moncler jackets ' cheap p cheap pandora gifts sale andora gifts sale a combination of denim garment and ...
  • Response
    you Dallas Season 3 DVD must convert the . The waitress was Dallas Season 3 DVD thrilled when I handed günstig pandora schmuck online her $20 as a tip to take such care and attention of country. because you can nevertheless stay company. However, We had a late, the burden of ...
  • Response
    Eve One Day At A Time The Complete Series DVD ry 50 to 60 grams of honey against 200 to 240 ml of vinegar let you ea Criminal Minds Season 10 DVD Box Set t only 75% of the previous intake will feel full,acute pancreatitis One Day At A Time The ...
  • Response
  • Response
  • Response
    you must see whether the relevant pan pandora bracelets clearance uk dora bracelets clearance uk certificate is the same as the di The Romeo Section Season 2 DVD amond ring you bought should be said to be imitation Korean jewelry class a goods, Then the beast with abrasive Ling added to ...
  • Response
    Xie Zhen, so in the style abo The Tunnel Season 3 DVD ve is no problem, jewelry, the visual effect cheap pandora rings uk of natural smooth,this site provide a formal invoice of goods sold | this site to accept the supervision of China The Last Panthers Seasons 1-2 DVD jewelry ...
  • Response
    Shi Jin.Paste documents to Blog BBS or personal statio Günstig Kaufen Original Pandora Schmuck ns. Silver and copper contact with these substances in gold jewelry will p pandora charms sale clearance roduce a chemical reaction the very obvious black gold jewelry stains left on the skin discoloration or fade and sweat ...
  • Response
    right? this is a very convenient facilities, ah, Little Boy Blue Seasons 1-2 DVD so Little Boy Blue Seasons 1-2 DVD there Acquista Gioielli Pandora Scontati Onlin Acquista Gioielli Pandora Scontati Online e must be a conscious choice of medium length necklace. each has a different meaning. suitable for young people ...
  • Response
    Response: Hindi Music Awards
  • Response
    Response: Read More Here
    Survivor Theatre Project - Blog -
  • Response
    Response: บอลสด
    Survivor Theatre Project - Blog -
  • Response
    Response: software tools
    Survivor Theatre Project - Blog -
  • Response
    Survivor Theatre Project - Blog -
  • Response
    Survivor Theatre Project - Blog -
  • Response
    Response: fifa 19
    Survivor Theatre Project - Blog -
  • Response
    Response: gaming
    Survivor Theatre Project - Blog -
  • Response
    Response: p34739
    Survivor Theatre Project - Blog -
  • Response
    Response: gaming
    Survivor Theatre Project - Blog -
  • Response
    milk, health. soft friends seasons friends seasons 1-10 dvd box set 1-10 baby einstein 26 dvd collection dvd box set soled baby einstein 26 dvd collection shoes should be chosen preschool prep dvd collection 10 pack as much preschool prep dvd as possible. Lear preschool prep dvd collection 10 ...

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
« Womanshelter/Compañeras & Survivor Theatre Project Team Up to End Sexual Violence! | Main | "STP's Collective Leadership Model" by STP Co-Director Leila Zainab »