What is "self-care"?

Self-care includes any intentional actions that focus on improving your emotional and/or physical well-being. It is recommended that everyone take time to self-care as research shows there are many mental, physical, relational, and occupational health benefits associated with self-care.

Self-care and sexual violence

Good self-care can be especially difficult for survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. However, self-care is an important part of the healing process and can help make the impacts of trauma more manageable. 

How do I self-care?

Self-care is unique for everyone. There isn't a "right" way. Explore different activities, places, and times to see what works best for you. Below are some suggestions and activities that you can try. 

Self-care activities:

  • 50 self-care ideas
  •  Adult coloring pages (from Doodlers Anonymous Epic Coloring Book) 
  • Create or find a music playlist that is right for you 
    • Look on Youtube-you can start here
  • Use mobile apps for meditation, calming sounds, panic attacks & sleep aids
    • Calm (iOS, android; free, offers in-app purchases): timed, open-ended, body scan meditations & mindfulness activities, nature sounds
    • Rain Rain: large selection of calming nature, household, transportation sounds for sleep or relaxation
    • Breathe2Relax: visual guide to deep breathing
    • SAM app for Anxiety: helps manage anxiety and provides activities to help during panic attacks or high stress
  • Visit a nearby trail or park
  • Spend time with trusted loved ones including pets

In case of panic:

The goal of these grounding techniques is to put you back in the present moment and your present body.

  • Breathing exercises 
    • Breathe in slowly through your nose for 6 seconds. Pause for a second and exhale slowly through your mouth for another 6 seconds. Repeat. If you become distracted, refocus your attention on counting and the sensations brought on by breathing.
  • 5-4-3-2-1 Game
    • Describe 5 things you see in the room
    • Name 4 things you can feel (e.g., "the soft cushion of this chair)
    • Name 3 things you hear right now
    • Name 2 things you can smell right now
    • Name 1 good thing about yourself
  • Recognize reasons you are safe (e.g., my cell phone is in my pocket, there is an exit door to my right)