Trauma does not mean always that we endured a major horror in life.

It’s part of everyday living. 

 

So, what does that mean for you?

What are the daily traumas that may be true for you as a care partner? It may be that you can’t seem to get that call back from a medical provider for your loved on. You have waited all day and the feeling becomes one of urgency, anxiety, and anger. The feeling escalates, your stress hormones are elevated. You are traumatized but what can you do?

Try these two ways to begin:

The first thing to do is to become aware of what you are experiencing. Just notice what you are feeling. Often, we don’t even stop to realize we are upset until it feels too late to undo it. The next thing is to take the time to be curious about what is happening in your body and your thoughts. Sometimes we have that niggling feeling that something is wrong or off but we try to shrug it off.  Because we are caught up in all that is going on around us, we forget about ourselves.

Researcher/writer Ashley Abramson suggests these four steps for regaining a sense of calm:
  1. Tune into your body. Your body is the first to talk. Where do you feel the sensations? Is it a tightness in your stomach, your throat? Perhaps your tired back is now a painful back. Because pain in the body can tell us a lot, it’s important to check-in.
  2. Use your breath. Try taking a deep breath. Deep breathing can help reduce the stress hormone, Cortisol, and bring us back into balance, calming the nervous system.
  3. Connect with people. If you can have a conversation with someone who you feel safe with, it can really help. If you can’t make a connection with that person, try visualizing them so that you can imagine feelings of safety and connection.
  4. Harness anxious thoughts. How are you interpreting the situation? Have you jumped to the worst-case scenario?  Ask yourself if what you are thinking is really true.

 

I hope you will take the time to watch this conversation with my friend and colleague, Lee Gallagher. Learn more ways to cope with trauma and bring yourself back to a sense of calm and balance.

 

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