Archive for October 11th, 2007

Sleeping Cat (c) Lynda Bernhardt

When you are struggling with your emotions, it can be easy to forget about taking good care of yourself. What do I mean by self-care? Self-care includes –

  • Eating a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Getting 8+ hours of sleep a night
  • Napping, as needed
  • Setting aside time to rest

Self-care focuses on meeting your physical needs, which can be a challenge when you are struggling with processing your abuse history.

Eating Well

Now is the time to focus on what you are putting into your body. It is easy to live off French fries and hamburgers when you are in a lot of emotional pain. Try to resist the temptation to do this and, instead, put good “fuel” into your body. Also, try not to skip meals, even if you do not feel like eating because you are so upset about your past. It is easy to neglect physical needs like eating when you are so focused on your emotions, but your body needs to be nurtured so you will have the energy to heal.


Getting adequate sleep is very important as you focus on healing. I really struggled with this because I had so many nightmares. I would stay up hours past my bedtime because I simply did not want to experience more flashbacks or nightmares.

If you are struggling with insomnia, then build naptime into your daily routine. I found that I could sleep well during the afternoon without facing nightmares, so my body could recharge during a nap even if I could not recharge it at night.


Rest is not the same thing as sleep. Rest means that you are awake but enabling your mind and body to be idle. This is a foreign concept for many people, particularly those who stay busy to avoid facing their emotions. Yoga and meditation helped me learn how to achieve a state of rest. The more rest time you build into your routine, the better able you will be to process the painful emotions.

Related Topic:

Positive Coping Tools for Healing from Childhood Abuse

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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