For anyone who has experienced trauma, the aftermath can be incredibly daunting. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional fallout of what happened, but you also have to find a way to rebuild your life and move forward. It’s important to know that you’re not alone in this—and that there are things you can do to improve your well-being and create a life you love. Here are six lifestyle changes to make if you’re looking for a fresh start after trauma.
1. Get Rid of Anything That Reminds You of the Trauma
This might mean selling or giving away possessions, getting rid of photographs, or even moving to a new home or city. It’s important to do whatever you can to create physical distance between yourself and the trauma. This will help you feel safer and more in control. Here are some more tips for decluttering your life after trauma:
- Start with small steps: If decluttering your entire home feels overwhelming, start with one room or one drawer at a time.
- Focus on what brings you joy: When you’re deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, ask yourself if each item brings you happiness. If it doesn’t, let it go.
- Create a memory box: If there are certain items you can’t bear to part with, put them in a memory box and store them away.
2. Set Boundaries
It’s perfectly normal (and healthy!) to need some time to yourself after experiencing trauma. That’s why it’s important to set boundaries with the people in your life. Let your friends and family know what you need from them—whether it’s space, time, or just someone to talk to—and be honest about what you’re not ready for yet. Remember, you don’t owe anyone anything—except taking care of yourself.
You can also set boundaries with your own thoughts and emotions. If you are ruminating on the trauma, try refocusing your attention on something else. Practice mindful meditation or deep breathing exercises to help you stay in the present moment.
3. Go for Therapy
There’s no shame in seeking professional help after trauma. In fact, therapy can be incredibly helpful in managing the symptoms of PTSD and other mental health conditions. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your doctor for a referral or look for intensive outpatient evening therapy programs in your area.
These therapy programs can provide you with the tools you need to cope with your trauma and move forward with your life. Not only will you learn how to manage your symptoms, but you’ll also gain insight into your own thoughts and emotions.
4. Eat a Nutritious Diet
Healthy eating habits are important for everyone—but they’re especially crucial for people who are dealing with the stress and anxiety that comes with trauma recovery. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein will help improve your mood and keep your energy levels up as you heal emotionally and physically.
You can also try incorporating some stress-busting foods into your diet, such as avocados, dark chocolate, and oatmeal. And if you’re having trouble cooking or eating regular meals, there are plenty of healthy frozen and prepared food options that can make mealtime a breeze.
5. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is a great way to manage stress, boost your mood, and promote overall physical health—all things that are essential for anyone dealing with trauma. Even if you don’t feel like it at first, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Taking a brisk walk outdoors can be especially helpful in calming anxiety and clearing your head.
Not only will exercise help you feel better in the moment, but it can also have lasting effects on your mental and emotional health. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your well-being, make sure to add some movement into your daily routine.
6. Foster Healthy Relationships
After experiencing trauma, it’s common to feel isolated and alone—but reaching out to others can make a big difference in your recovery process. Spend time with friends and loved ones who make you feel safe, accepted, and supported. These relationships will provide an invaluable source of strength as you heal emotionally and rebuild your life after trauma.
You might also want to consider joining a support group for people who have experienced similar traumas. These groups can provide a sense of community and belonging, as well as offer helpful tips for managing your symptoms and coping with your experience.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your well-being after experiencing trauma, these six lifestyle changes may help. From setting boundaries to eating a nutritious diet, each suggestion is designed to promote healing on both an emotional and physical level. Remember, you’re not alone in this—and you will heal with time, care, and support from others.