By Jenn Rockefeller
The world is facing unprecedented times with the current pandemic ravaging so many countries. With so many of those countries issuing stay-at-home orders (in both counties and individual towns), it can be difficult at best for domestic violence survivors to practice self-care. What can survivors do to practice self-care in their own homes?
It can be triggering for many survivors to be stuck inside their homes for what may seem like the long haul. With the stay-at-home orders looking like they may not be letting up any time soon, it’s important to keep some sort of normalcy to our routine. But how?
Sense of peace
There are plenty of ways to practice self-care at home during times of crisis and stay-at-home orders. Find what works for you and stick with it. It’s important to remember to check in with yourself every day because it’s easy to get caught up in the news and what’s going on in the world.
- Establish a routine — It can be tempting to sleep all day, stay in your pajamas, and skip a few showers, but sticking to a usual routine is important for your mental health. This includes setting a bedtime and eating meals at consistent times.
- Pop in your favorite funny DVD movie – I know when things are rough for me, I have specific go-to funny movies that I like to watch. What are your go-to movies?
- Bubble baths – Sometimes a relaxing bubble bath can melt away the stress. If you don’t have a tub to take a bath in, try just taking a relaxing hot shower and adding in essential oils (like lavender) to your shower experience.
- Read a book – I can’t remember the last time I picked up a book and immersed myself in that world. It can be a great stress reliever to unwind with a good book.
- Play video games – This is something I’ve only recently begun to take part in. You can find incredible satisfaction and peace in playing a difficult video game…and then finishing it.
- Watch (and partake in) YouTube exercise videos – When your local gym is closed, you can search YouTube for workout videos and still “get your exercise on.” Exercise is a great way to manage anxiety and stress. Try it out!
- “Binge-watch” an old TV show on Netflix or Hulu – There are so many old TV shows, like dramas and comedies, on Netflix and Hulu. Just scroll through and find something that you haven’t seen in ages!
- Watch crafting videos – Do you like to craft? Crochet? Knit? Have you ever wanted to learn? Maybe watch a few videos!
- Watch cooking videos – There are a ton of cooking videos out there. Have you ever wanted to try a new dish? What about just watching a cooking show? I remember years ago, there was a show called “Yan Can Cook” – he has dozens of videos on YouTube! There’s also Emeril and Julia Child videos, too.
- Practice yoga – Yoga is a great outlet to relieve stress and anxiety during difficult times. It gets us to focus on things like meditation and breathing, which can help us find our center. Centering is a great way to help us “focus on the here and now, taking power away from outside concerns and negative thoughts, and helping you remain stable and grounded,” states the website Mind Tools.
Not getting panicked
We are so accustomed to panicking when we become triggered. That’s what stay-at-home orders and feeling trapped can do to us. But we need to remember not to get panicked in these situations.
Have you found that you have to remind yourself of certain things? I often find myself forgetting to actually take a breath. I have to remind myself to breathe, especially when things get hectic. Breathing is natural to humans, as it is an automatic function, but sometimes we don’t realize we actually hold our breath when things get stressful. Remind yourself to take a deep cleansing breath every once in a while.
When we remember these self-care tips in times of crisis, we can keep ourselves in a more calm and peaceful state of mind. The key is to remember to put down social media and turn off the news every once in a while, so we can check in with ourselves. That way we can be sure to remain focused on our mental health and well-being during these tough times.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help. You can visit the Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence website at www.breakthesilencedv.org or chat with one of our helpline advocates at 855-287-1777.
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