Self Care

There are a number of things that you can do to ground yourself when you are having a bad day.

Here are some of the things we did to keep ourselves sane on our darkest days

Music

Music really helped Warrior1. Here are her tips

  • Plan a party for when it is all over. Make a playlist of all the songs you will play to celebrate. Even if you don’t have the party, it’s really helpful to have something positive to focus on
  • Make a playlist for when you feel triggered; include any music that makes you feel safe and warm (hers included lots of Michael Buble).
  • Make a relaxation playlist. She used music that was used in my yoga/Pilates class that She historically found relaxing.
  • Make a court playlist. She played it when she felt angry or anxious. It helped me leading up to court and on the day whilst waiting to give evidence. She have even listened to it since trial. Here are some of our favourites to get you started
    I hate you by Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. https://youtu.be/C1AYhumuoxM
    Got to get thru this by Daniel Beddingfield https://youtu.be/b4eMyOzD9UI
    Brave Face by Frank Turner https://youtu.be/g16QTzTsKYw
    Bastards by Kesha https://youtu.be/ABijQ1qksvc
    Praying** by Kesha https://youtu.be/v-Dur3uXXCQ
    Rainbow by Kesha https://youtu.be/sd5dcjXzuGk

**The whole album Rainbow by Kesha was really empowering and the song “praying” was particularly good. We changed the words from “changing” to “shaking”. It helped one of us to find their power and she listened to it just before she testified.

Lipstick

One of us got a thing for lipsticks. It was like putting on the war paint and getting ready. Every time the anxiety surfaced she would go and buy another one. She has quite a collection now.

Exercise

Yoga/Pilates

Finding a class that you feel comfortable in and can help you relax whilst in the process is so helpful. You might need to try a few different classes before you find the one that suits you. One teacher was very hands on, holding students in position, which triggered flashbacks.

Bodypump|Boxing|Kickboxing

Use the time leading up to trial to become physically strong. These are physically demanding. Sometimes by doing something which is physically exerting gives your mind a break. There are times when the workout is so hard all you can do is concentrate on doing the activity and breathing. Warrior2 found this helped her to switch off her head for an hour.

Gardening

On the lead up to the trial one of us spent weeks cutting back the thorns in the garden. With good gloves and secreters, we snipped away, a bit at a time. Every time she started to feel anxious she would go out into the garden even if it was just for half an hour. Cutting back the thorns was really cathartic. And taking them to the tip and leaving them there felt amazing. She did this every day, for a couple of weeks. Now in that spot, she is growing vegetables. New beginnings. New energy and growth. Her garden thanks him.

Meditation

Mediation can help you to feel grounded. By changing your breathing, you can change how you feel. There are a number of free apps along with paid apps to help with this. These are the apps Some of us found particularly useful but be prepared to shop around, as everyone is different.

  1. Chakra Meditation Balancing – Healing Music for Meditation and Stress Release 3rd Eye by Equilibrium Srl
  2. Focus: Chakra Meditation by Zenoki Ltd
  3. Calm by Calm.com
  4. Headspace: Meditation & Sleep by Headspace Inc.

Crystals

Crystals helped three of us leading up to and at trial. We didn’t know this until we met afterwards!

  1. Kyanite. “Encourages speaking one’s truth cutting through fear and blockages” https://www.crystals-online.co.uk/properties-pages/blue-kyanite/
  1. Lapis Lazuli. “Relieves anger and negative thoughts” https://www.healing-crystals-for-you.com/lapis-lazuli-stones.html
  2. Clear Quartz. “Protects against negativity” https://www.crystals-online.co.uk/properties-pages/clear-quartz/
  3. Peridot. Protection https://www.healingcrystals.com/Peridot_Articles_654.html
  1. Rose Quartz. Promotes self love https://www.charmsoflight.com/rose-quartz-healing-properties
  2. Amethyst. Protection. https://www.energymuse.com/ameth-meaning

Practical tips

A heavy blanket over you can help you to feel grounded after you have been triggered

Bach Rescue Remedy is also really helpful. It is small enough to carry around in a bag or pocket. Just a few drops on the tongue really help to calm. http://www.bachflower.com/rescue-remedy-information/

Pulse point aromatherapy roller balls. Come in a variety of blends. Small enough to carry around. Quick and easy to use and can induce a feeling of calm. https://www.tisserand.com/aromatherapy-roller-balls/

Take your shoes off. Feel the ground under your feet. Notice what is around you, sounds, smells, textures.

Do something physical like go for a walk or run.

Take up knitting, crocheting or art. Doing something where you have to concentrate forces you to think about something else. One of us knitted a (very long) “justice scarf” whilst we waited for the verdict.

If you need to speak to someone call the National sexual violence helpline freephone 0808 802 9999 between 12-2.30pm 7-9.30pm daily

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