April 1st marks the start of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This is a month that spreads awareness and brings focused effort to the widespread problem of assault. Media floods with messages about assault and advocacy. For a survivor scrolling through their instagram feed, this is like pouring salt on a wound.
For survivors this month is a soul-sucking vacuum. The irony is that when trauma occurs, it feels like you are stuck while the rest of the world carries on and whirls past. We might feel like we are screaming into a void, not heard or seen. This one month a year though the country rallies to spread the word about assault. Survivors who have spent time and energy healing these wounds, find themselves surrounded by the topic, unable to move or find reprieve from the inundation of such triggering content. Where was the world when these women started their healing journey? Why doesn't society continuously show up? Why is reporting and the court process such a re-traumatizing experience? Why don't people believe women? Why is everyone so concerned about this topic only one month a year?
Our list of concerns regarding society's stance on assault could go on and on.
In honor of survivors Empowered RX will be observing this month in a different way. We will focus on health and safe care for the Survivor. We will show up for those in need. We believe the responsibility to prevent assault is not on the survivor but on society. While this month is educational, it can be extremely draining on the individual who has experienced sexual violence. If we aren't aware of this it can trigger some pretty unexpected emotions and memories that we may not be equipped to handle.
Here are 5 things to think about before this month officially begins:
1. Do a social media sweep:
Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel inadequate.
Take a social media break.
Limit use to certain times and lengths of time.
2. Find a community:
a. Join our Facebook Community: Empowered RX Community for free support
b. Attend support groups or meetings with individuals who share your experiences
c. Find friends and family who UNDERSTAND what you have been through and what you need
3. Find a therapist or group therapy:
a. Make sure they are qualified/certified and trauma-informed.
b. Key words to search for are: CBT, DBT, EMDR, PTSD, Trauma Certified
c. Make sure you feel safe and comfortable with them
a. Trauma can make us feel anxious, like we need to move,
b. This is a nervous system response that can occur as a result of being exposed to content or ideas associated with your trauma.
c. Even if you don't think you need it. Build in rest to each day this month. Take 5 minutes to just sit. Meditate. Drink tea. Just lay down with your eyes closed. Take a bath. Anything to help you down-regulate.
5. Get a healthy living routine
a. SAVING THE MOST IMPORTANT FOR LAST
b. Healthy living encompasses your mind, body & spirit
c. Movement is medicine
d. High Intensity Interval Training can help you manage stress by making your window of tolerance easier to navigate.
e. Stay hydrated
f. Eat to nourish- Caloric or carb restriction leads to increased stress on the body
g. Prioritize sleep & rest
h. TALK TO AN EMPOWERED RX MENTOR TODAY who can help you put all of the pieces together. Our trauma-informed mentors are experts in nutrition, fitness and physiology. They have a working knowledge of trauma so that they can understand your health struggles and behaviors and come up with solutions on how to navigate them. We help you turn your struggles into strengths.
You don't have to go through this month alone!