Softeners and Self-Care
To help yourself get grounded, read the list below. If you have any ideas to add, please let us know and we can put them here.
- Walk away from the situation. This one might be the hardest to do, but walk away from whatever is triggering you. It might not always be possible, but if it is, it may be the most effective. Turn off the tv, the computer, stop reading posts, whatever has you triggered.
- Cuddle with something safe. A stuffy, a blankie, a pet, anything that makes you feel safe. This one isn't just for the lils either, even I have done this from time to time.
- Change scenery. Go outside, take a walk, get fresh air.
- Exercise. Stretch, any sort of physical movement.
- Reach for solid objects. Touch a book, put your feet firmly on the ground, remind yourself that you are safe now.
- Stimulate your senses. Use ice, lemon juice or a hot sauce like chilli to "shock" yourself back to the present. Use a strong scent like candles or cinnamon.
- Write. Write a poem, write a story, write in a journal, write today's date over and over, write a note to a friend.
- Music. listen to the radio, play an instrument.
- Connect with another human. Call a friend, a therapist, a hotline. Sometimes just hearing a human voice is enough to help.
- Watch a familiar movie. Be careful with this one, sometimes movies or tv can make things worse... but if you have a favorite safe movie that you know doesn't trigger you, it might help.
- Colouring. A familiar and awesome activity often forgotten, but useful and simtulating.
- Make a list of good things in your life. Sometimes in a hard time all you can think of is one or two things, but keep adding to the list and keep it close by. Read through it whenever you're having a rough time.
Softeners, sometimes called spoilers, are the use of an * in place of selected letters in common triggering words or concepts.
If you are triggered by any word or conversation, it is ultimately your own responsibility to take care of yourself. Clear the screen, leave the room, or even turn off your computer. Self-care is nobody's responsibility but your own. However, we can sometimes work together to be supportive and help each other avoid triggers. Our approach to healing is the emphasis on practicing real world situations in a safe environment.
As such, we absolutely do not require spoilers/softeners. In place of this, here are some ways you can help another survivor's healing experience and be sensitive to their needs:
- Gently remind them to use self-care. They are responsible for their own safety.
- Help remind them where they are and that they are in a safe place. Their words and thoughts will not be censored.
- If another member is clearly in a vulnerable state, carefully choose your words instead of censoring them.
- If another member requests that you use spoilers/softeners, you may respectfully refuse. We ask that you come to a civil, verbal and mutual agreement.
You may think of some other approaches to this situation as you become more comfortable with your own healing.
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