You may have started the healing journey not knowing how to take care of yourself, always highly focused on taking care of others and making sure they were happy. As we know now, this is a coping strategy. Keeping the focus on others, keeping the peace, and staying out of trouble are all survival strategies many of us took on as children. It worked as a strategy in childhood, but now we don't know how to turn to meet our own needs once we've grown up.
Ongoing self-care is an important part of healing after trauma. When you take care of yourself, you learn what you like, what you want, what you need, and what you can do to meet those needs. You slowly learn to listen to your body and respect what it needs from you to take care of it.
The biggest reason we struggle with listening to ourselves is that no one listened to us when we were young, especially when we were hurting and in pain. Since we learned very early on that there was no one to talk to and that how we felt did not matter, we carry on with it ourselves as adults by not listening to the needs of our body, even when it might be screaming at us for something it needs.
I started this blog post with the idea that self-care is a boundary. And when someone does not respect your boundary, and you have been practicing deep care for yourself, it becomes easier to speak up because you know how important it is and how important you are! How we take care of ourselves demonstrates to others how we want to be treated.
Now that you are well on your way to learning, understanding, and practicing really listening to your body, what are some of the things you are noticing it asking for?
What does your body need from you during this chapter of your journey? And how good does it feel to finally honor those needs?
Here's a tip. Start a list of common or daily needs your body seems to ask for. This then becomes a reference of important needs that you can refer to when you feel too overwhelmed to tune into your body when looking for something to push through your anxiety and ground yourself in your body again. That growing list will be all the things you can do that you know make you feel better and make your body happy.
Remember, sometimes we need support on the journey, especially when we are changing old habits. I have a free group for you to join a community of others like you that are working on their healing, one healthy habit at a time. You can join here.
And if you need support with a strategy for setting boundaries and work with your body, you can book a free 30 minute chat with me here. I look forward to supporting you!
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