Healing after trauma has no set schedule, we will all move through the process at our own pace, in our own way. Accepting that you are a unique and beautiful individual, and it’s okay to feel differently to others, is a huge step in your healing plan. In addition to your self-care basics of sleep, exercise and nourishment, here are four more powerful self-care practices that might help you through.
- Cry, talk and grieve
Let out your feelings with a trusted friend, family member or if you need, a counsellor. Talk about your feelings, rather than focussing on details of events. There is a fine line between being informed to help make sense of an event, and reliving it through repeated exposure.
- Spiritual Connection
Spirituality is different to everyone, but it does mean a connection to something greater. This might be through nature, family, mindfulness, meditation or prayer. Try and tap into your connection. You can explore meditation with the UC Meditation Club, find a religious group on campus or chat with the UC Chaplain, or simply make a promise to pick up the phone and call your family more often.
- Rest, relax and breathe
Take time out to do things you love – what makes you happy? It could be treating yourself to a movie, taking a yoga class, reading a good book, writing or journaling, taking a trip to the beach or hills, or playing games on your cell phone. Set aside some time just for you, and enjoy the space in the moment.
- Practice mindfulness
Be in the present. Notice the things around you, the colours, the smells, the feels, the tastes. Savour every second, and think about all of the good around you. Perhaps even take up the #100daysofhappy challenge, using your phone to capture a single image of one thing every day that makes you smile.
To recap, you don’t have to undertake all of these practices, but we would recommend starting with creating a better sleep routine, fitting in some exercise and good nutrition. Then, consider adding in even just one additional strategy from 4-7 above, and see the benefits of good self-care help you start to heal.
Remember, there is plenty of support for you on campus.
If you need to talk to a trained counsellor, free call or text 1737 from your mobile phone.
There are a number of services on campus you can contact for help at UC:
- Student Care – Student Care can provide you a place to talk to someone if you do not know what to do, and also have a team of dedicated Student Advisors for both domestic and international students.
- UC Health Centre – you can make an appointment to talk to a health professional including nurses, doctors and counsellors to help you get through this difficult time. If you need to be seen straight away, please tell the Health Centre reception staff that your situation is urgent; they will then find a health professional you can talk to.
- UCSA Advocacy and Welfare can help you if you are experiencing financial difficulties at this time, including support with food, and can help you communicate with your teaching staff and apply for extensions and Special Consideration if you are finding your study is being affected; and
- UC Chaplains, who are available if you need someone to talk to.
There are also additional resources and support services in the community that you can access from home, and can assist non-students who you know have been affected are:
- Lifeline: 0800 543 354
- Need To Talk: 1737 (free text or phone)
- Victim Support: 0800 842 846
- Ministry of Health: The Ministry of Health has developed two resources with 1737 to assist those in mental distress as a result of the traumatic event in Christchurch. View the resources.
Rec & Sport team