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Unprecedented Times Call For Extraordinary Self-Care Measures



It’s hard. This space we’re in, right here, right now is hard…and it’s unfamiliar. Well, for some. Sure, as a whole society, we may not have felt vulnerable like this in quite some time to something our science or technology could not fix. But for some of us, feeling exposed, restricted, and anxious is a part of our daily bread. Some of us are surviving all sorts of situations while being reminded to wash hands to the Happy Birthday song and stand six feet from the person in the grocery store. What if the person we need to stay safe from is in our home?

A crisis like the one the world is experiencing now is particularly difficult for survivors of violence. The news is triggering themes of lack of safety. The updates and statistics further messages of loss of control and fear. And when activity is limited to our homes or our immediate surroundings, those surviving are susceptible to being thrown back into the dangerous and shaming “go along just to get along” cycles they work hard to avoid. However, finding pieces of self-care and resilience during the most impossible times is the superpower of many. So, how can we channel our strength and reroute the energy we want? Try one or all 7 of the tips listed below:

#1 Unplug

Consider going 30 minutes, an hour, or even a whole day free of news or social media. Taking a break from news that’s full of the heavy topics, images, and comments can cut the increased risk for depression and anxiety symptoms that these outlets contribute to. If keeping up is a part of your livelihood, try to avoid falling asleep to television and screen time or allowing media to be the first and last activity of the day.


Get your body moving to release toxins and endorphins! When we engage in high intensity exercise like cardio or even a good shadow box, our body oozes endorphins to combat stress and pain. Even a good dance in the living room to a favorite song will do the trick. Keeping your body in action connects your physical being with your mind causing the feeling of balance and more clarity.

#3 Time with Kids (or animals!)

The physical contact a pet or child can provide brings enormous comfort. Maybe it’s a DIY puppet theatre, interactive story time, a talent show, hug time/belly rub, a game of fetch, or a walk around the neighborhood that includes everyone. Connecting with children builds attachment for both and is like a big massage for the brain. Similarly, pets are relaxing and keep us active. Play is a good distraction and is OK!

#4 Affirm Yourself

Look into a mirror. Give yourself some loving eye contact (or if that’s a challenge close your eyes and get ready to have a talk with self). Start with these 5 core values: I am. I am clear-headed. I am prepared. I am strong. I am capable. Create statements that reflect beliefs you’re working to have or may be the opposite of what you feel to be true about yourself. Say them twice a day and when things are challenging remind yourself of who you are with your affirmations.

#5 B r e a t h e

Five deep breaths when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed not only get good oxygen and blood flow into the body but also quiets the mind. Practice your breaths with silence or low soothing sounds. Remember to breathe from the belly without raising the shoulders and try to have slow inhale/exhale cycles. For some added fun, head to the internet and look up the shark breath—a great time to involve restless little ones.

#6 Make Art

Finger-paint, cutting shapes out of paper or found objects and gluing them in interesting ways, drawing, or earning your photography muscle with your cell phone. Spend time getting some perspective about the world around you.

#7 Get Grounded

Activities that keep us in the present help to derail negative or a busy thought life. Stepping outside of your house to take notice of what you see, hear, feel, smell and even taste alerts your senses and brings your awareness into the now. And that feeling you get singing loudly in the shower or the car? Keep it up! Because opening the throat up during playful moments of singing and big belly laughs engages a nerve in our body that takes out of states of alarm and into balance. An easy and natural reset.

Now, especially more than ever, we shouldn’t be choosing between our health and safety. As a matter of fact, it’s uncertain that we can have one without the other.



If you at all feel that your safety or health is compromised and you’d like support, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 or reach out to the MCEDSV hotline at (855) 864-2374. For legal advocacy, connect with the Survivor Law Clinic (517) 898-5907.

Brittni Kellom is a Trauma Practitioner and the Trauma Advocate for MCEDSV’s Survivor Law Clinic. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual violence, our trained advocates are available to talk 24 hours a day toll-free at 1-855-VOICES-4 (1-855-864-2374).

Other Ways to Reach Our Hotline:
Chat is a way for survivors to receive services via the MCEDSV website. This is web-based, survivors are encouraged to clear their web browser after each contact.
Text: 866-238-1454 is for individuals who prefer the convenience of texting. The text line offers the same confidential and anonymous service as the chat and hotline, with the added convenience of you sending messages discreetly via your mobile device. Survivors are encouraged to delete messages after each text session has ended. *Standard text messaging rates apply