There’s no magic fix or instant cure when coping with the effects of trauma or grief. It’s an ongoing process that takes time, care and healing. It can be difficult to deal with a barrage of emotions, such as stress, sadness and anxiety, but it’s important to note that these are completely natural symptoms, and that recovery is always possible.

Here are 7 small steps to help you cope with trauma. And remember – professional support exists, should you wish to seek it.

  1. Take Time

As it’s already been said, recovery is not instantaneous. It takes time. It’s crucial to allow yourself this time to reflect on your experiences, and to allow yourself to sit with and acknowledge your emotions as you have them. Digesting what has happened to you and taking the time to accept it is one of the first steps to recovery. No one can rush you – you determine how long you need.

  1. Connect

Make sure you have a network of positive people around you. This can be friends or family, but also professionals or community organisations. Let people in on your feelings as and when you see fit. Our Tooting Recovery Café is open daily if you need someone to talk to.

  1. Disconnect

Whilst extensive isolation is not good for you, and it’s always good to have a support network you can discuss with, this isn’t to say that time on your own isn’t beneficial. In fact, taking an hour or two away from others to spend time with yourself can help you adjust the balance and maintain your sense of self.

  1. Be Aware

After experiencing trauma, certain scenarios may trigger you into feeling negative emotions. Whilst this is completely natural, you may find it favourable to note these triggers down, so that you’re aware of environments or situations to avoid.

  1. Regulate Your Routine

Traumatic experiences can throw off the routine of your daily life. Try to readjust this one step at a time. If you’re taking time away from work, try to stimulate your brain with bite size work-related activities, or a puzzle or crossword. Try gentle exercise such as a daily walk. Put a load of washing on. Regaining control of these daily tasks can help to maintain structure.

  1. Sprucing

After a traumatic experience, it can sometimes feel positive to make tiny changes to your environment. Simple things such as rearranging your room or adding candles or flowers, or perhaps purchasing a new duvet set, may allow you the sense of a fresh start away from your experience.

  1. Big Celebrations For Little Achievements

One of our worst feats as human beings is brushing over our successes in search of bigger, greater things. Allowing yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment for all the positive things you contribute can lead to greater acceptance of yourself and circumstances. This can be as small as treating yourself to your favourite snack after a productive day, or giving yourself a guilt-free day of Netflix binging.

We work alongside people with a wide range of mental health conditions and experiences. If you or someone you know needs support, find out more about our mental health services.

Related: 7 Ways To Conquer Blue Monday