There may be times that clients don't have immediate access to a support worker, such as out of hours, during holidays or if they are on a waiting list for support. We have put together a few self-help online resources on processing trauma, ways of coping and recovery. These have been selected by our workers, for survivors of sexual violence who are waiting for support.
During difficult times it is important to routinely eat, sleep and rest, as well as to regularly exercise and have plenty of time for relaxation. It can be difficult to relax your mind and body, though with practice it can get easier, especially once you figure out what works best for you.
There is no one right way to relax, so you might need to try different things until you find your favourite way of relaxing. For some people, this might be going for a walk or watching some episodes of your favourite tv series. For others, cooking or dancing might help them relax.
Sometimes though, especially when we feel really stressed or anxious, we need something a bit different; maybe we need to focus on our breathing or listen to someone talking us through how to relax and calm down. We’ve collected some ideas here to help you. Below are some suggestions for relaxation and self-care to help manage anxiety.
Online Meditation Resources
- Free NHS Positive Rewards audio courses which promote positive mental health.
- Self-help guide on stress by NHS
- Meditation Oasis have a wide range of podcasts for stress relief and relaxation in traumatic times.
- with Mindsprings Meditation Online
- Dublin Rape Crisis have collated a list of grounding techniques
- Grounding cards – these ‘therapeutic treasure box’ grounding cards can be helpful as a creative way to calm and process difficult feelings.
- ‘Help Now’ resilience building strategies – 10 quick practical and easy to remember activities to help you if you need help now.
- Colouring book – print the ‘We Believe You‘ colouring in book for survivors and supporters by Ryerson University, Toronto
- Yoga – free online yoga classes from yoga with Adrienne. They vary in length from 10 minutes and she includes grounding yoga practices and yoga for calm.
Mindfulness is about focusing on the here and now. Its techniques have been proven to help reduce stress and anxiety and help instil a sense of calm. For some survivors it helps with panic attacks and flashbacks. You can find out more about mindfulness and download meditation exercises at www.mindfulnessassociation.org and www.self-compassion.org.
Our youth Activists have put together a self care resource full of ideas, from baking to bingo! View it here.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or tapping)
If you are experiencing anxiety, intrusive thoughts or catastrophic thinking (thinking of the worst-case scenario) you can also consider looking into EFT is based on the principle that distressing thoughts and emotions are coupled with a ‘charge’ in the body. The therapist talks you through the process of tapping on acupressure points to gently release the charge, so the thoughts and emotions can be released. It can help reduce anxiety, fear and tension caused by distressing experiences. (What Is EFT Tapping? 5-Step Technique for Anxiety Relief (healthline.com)).
Caring for Yourself After Sexual Violence
This free self development course is available to anyone who has been subjected to sexual violence in childhood or adulthood. On this site you will find modules of information and videos to watch as you work through the materials at your own pace. Victim Focus | Free Course Caring For Yourself After Sexual Violence Not everyone will feel able to work through this course and that's ok too, but some people might find it helpful while waiting to access support.
Apps and Information for Safety
- FollowItApp (for safely recording incidents of stalking).
- Information about keeping safe online.
- We also have a small stock of personal alarms available on request.
Apps for Relaxation
- Stop Breathe Think – check in with how you’re feeling, and try short activities tuned to your emotions
- Meditation Oasis – features guided meditations, music and nature sounds to create a calm and meditative space
- Headspace – mindfulness tools for your everyday life
Apps for self-harm and suicide
Apps for anxiety, depression and low mood
- Positive Rewards – Feeling Good App (free access code : username – coboost; password – positive. Sleep better: feel better)
- Mood Tracker
Apps for recovery from eating disorders and body image
- RR Eating Disorder Management
- Rise Up: Eating Disorder Help