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  • Writer's pictureDesert Bloom Counseling

Nurturing Healing: 5 Daily Self-Care Exercises for Survivors of Abuse

Surviving trauma or abuse is an unfortunate reality for many. According to the National Children’s Alliance, nearly 700,000 children in the U.S. are abused annually. The Center for Disease Control's 2017 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey also reveals that nearly 1 in 4 adult women and approximately 1 in 7 adult men have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner.

While the journey to healing from abuse can be challenging, it can also be empowering. Whether the abuse was recent or in the distant past, a daily self-care regimen can help manage the lingering effects. Here are five self-care exercises to incorporate into your daily routine:

1. Prioritize Quality Sleep

Adequate sleep is vital for optimum physical, mental, and emotional health. Your body needs regular rest to function correctly. A good night's sleep can enhance your mood and energy, improve memory, and keep stress levels minimal.

2. Practice Meditation

Setting aside five to ten minutes daily for quiet reflection can have numerous health benefits. Meditation can boost your immune system, manage stress, improve focus, and enhance mood. You can find beginner-friendly meditation exercises through a simple Google search, smartphone apps, or free YouTube videos.

3. Engage in Exercise

Exercise can energize you and provide a physical outlet for releasing pent-up emotions resulting from abuse or trauma. Find a form of exercise you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, or yoga. Remember, exercise is an act of self-care, not punishment, so don't push yourself too hard.

4. Use Positive Affirmations

Survivors of abuse often struggle with feelings of shame and self-blame. Positive affirmations can help counter these negative self-perceptions. Repeat affirmations like "I am valuable," "I am worthy," "I am capable," "I am strong," and "I am intelligent." Identify negative self-talk and replace it with these positive affirmations.

5. Seek Support

Reach out to your support system, whether it's a friend, family member, support group, or therapist. If you feel your support system is lacking, use smartphone apps or websites like Meetup to find local, like-minded groups. Sharing your struggles with people who understand and care about your well-being is a crucial part of your healing journey.

Surviving trauma or abuse is a significant challenge, but you don't have to face it alone. A licensed mental health professional can provide support and guidance on your healing journey. Remember, self-care is not a luxury; it's a necessity. Incorporating these daily self-care exercises into your routine can help you navigate the path to healing and reclaim your life.

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