Every one of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.— Princess Diana
Growing up with a narcissistic or mentally ill mother is so harsh that you may wonder how we even survive. And the reason for this is kids’ natural resilience.
They can bounce back and endure unimaginable pain like neglect, separation from a parent, unsafe or unstable environment, domestic violence, verbal or physical/sexual abuse, intrusive medical procedures, serious illness, bullying, etc. Situations that disrupt their sense of safety and leave them feeling anxious, depressed, and helpless.
However, if left unresolved, these traumatic childhood experiences can severely affect your future life, health, and happiness. Those wounds must heal, and healing is a process with the steps you need to take. And no matter what stage of healing you are in, learning to take care of yourself must be part of it.
So, let’s get started.
Why Doesn’t It Always Work?
You’ve been on the healing path for a while now, reading countless self-help books, listening to webinars, and even going to therapy, but you freeze in fear every time you hear your mom’s voice or even think about calling her.
There are several reasons why you may feel stuck:
- Struggling to realize where the pain comes from.
As a child, you had nothing to compare your experience with, and therefore you believed that your reality was normal, especially if your caregivers were the source of your suffering. It is only much later that you begin to realize how destructive your childhood was. It usually happens when you meet healthier families or have children of your own.
- Other issues to mask the true problem.
Everyone deals with trauma differently, and for some, excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs is the way to numb their pain. What is going on there other than the harmful effects of substance abuse? Numbing your feelings instead of facing them may delay discovering the real issue – your childhood trauma. And without feeling, there is no healing.
- The Damage May Possibly Be Biological.
Based on studies on learning how to take care of yourself every day, it has been found that childhood trauma can alter the structure of the brain and also change how some types of genes are expressed. Additional research has found that childhood trauma like a loss of a parent or childhood abuse can often alter the programming of the genes, especially the ones that regulate stress. As a result, it can lead to issues like depression and anxiety. Childhood trauma also can affect the neurotransmitters found in the brain, which leads to alcohol and drugs dependency.
What Can You Do to Make Things Better?
Once you learn the origins of your emotional pain and bodily symptoms, you are ready to start healing. Please, remember there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there’s one universal thing that can help you get better – practicing self-care.
1. Stay Away from Negative People
The first step towards learning how to take care of yourself at home is distancing yourself from negative people that can hinder your process. Healing is something that is not possible in a turbulent environment. You need to be at peace to grow. People that blame, manipulate, steal, cheat, and lie are toxic for your growth and can be poisonous for your sense of self. Remove any person from your circle who stresses you out; you also do not be apologetic about it.
2. Learn Self-Regulation Techniques
Nowadays, we all suffer from stress that forces us back to old behaviors, aka coping mechanisms that we developed as children to survive. There are various simple methods and techniques like meditation, relaxation, and mindful breathing that help develop distress tolerance skills so that you can learn to stay calm in any stressful situation. Regular exercise that includes your entire body like walking, swimming, dancing, weight lifting, yoga, or whatever makes your body sing is another excellent way of self-regulating and taking care of yourself. For more ideas follow this link.
3. Look for Support
Most wounded people tend to self-isolate because they feel unworthy of love and don’t believe someone will be interested in them. You may not know how to behave around healthy humans because you never learned it in your family. Unfortunately, avoiding social situations and friendships is contra-productive, and self-care includes seeking support and help to find the strength you need to heal. Make sure to find friends and support groups that are right for you, whether you need to share your past or emotions with them or rather be engaged in daily activities. The most important thing is that you feel like you belong.
4. Create Inspirational Financial Goals
Passion is something that fuels desire. The more strongly you feel about wanting or attaining something, the more committed you are to achieving the goal. Here’s what I want you to do: Sit down and write down your long- and short-term financial goals. Use your imaginations and be descriptive. One way of doing this is to picture yourself already reaching them. How does it feel in your body? Are your standing higher, your chest is open? Feel good after and write it down along your goals. Keep your list somewhere visible, like on the lead of your fridge, and keep reminding yourself of your goals, saying them as loud as possible.
In the meantime, research the ways to earn more money or save more. Could you take a part-time job waitressing in the nearby café, or use your skills online to help other people solve their problems? Maybe you could drop out of your fitness club and fix older people’s gardens instead? You will save your fitness fees, help someone and earn money. So, what are your ideas? Please share them with us in the comments below.
5. Eat Healthily
There are quite some relations between how we process stress and our neurobiological states. When stressed, your body produces an inflammatory response, similar to sports-related injuries. When we are in pain or uncomfortable, it can impact our moods and how we talk or deal with situations and people. This problem can simply be addressed by eating a balanced diet, overcoming compulsive eating, and losing some weight in the process.
6. Keep Tabs on Your Daily Expenses and Income
When it comes to taking care of yourself financially, you need to understand your income and expenses. Make it a habit to check your daily spending. There are various types of expense tracking apps that you can use to maintain your income and expense ratio. Or, you could use a simple spreadsheet and jot down the number daily. Use any method that will help you track your expenses to understand where your money is being spent and feel more in control.
7. Realize That You Are Safe Now
When you want to move ahead in life and learn how to take care of yourself emotionally, it is crucial to feeling safe. Your inner child who survived the worst needs to believe that she is and will be safe, no matter what, because you are there to take care of her. And you are not going anywhere.
Do you need help healing and taking care of yourself? Follow this link and find out more.
Self-Care Brings Joy
Everyone’s trauma is different, and the healing happens at different ages, stages, and paces. But it won’t disappear unless it is validated, therefore you should learn how to take care of yourself emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. And invite joy into your life.
Seek help when it feels too hard being on your own.
You are doing great, keep going!
This post is written by Daniel Miller who is an experienced specialist in the business and financial area. Daniel has also worked as a financial advisor at LoanSolution and provided consulting and advice about budgets, savings, insurance, stocks, retirement funds, tax advice, etc. He is currently doing specific research on the topic.