The first Wednesday of every month, at 1:30pm, The Domestic Violence Shelter will present our “Wednesday Workshop”. This month, due to rising COVID numbers, we decided it was safest for us to present our Workshop in a blog format instead of gathering our advocates together to present a live video.

This week, we will discuss the emotional and physical effects of trauma and shared some self-care tips to help combat stress. If you have any questions not covered in this post, or would like to speak to a trained advocate, call our 24/7 Crisis Line at 1-800-931-SAFE (7233)

Wednesday Workshop #3: Trauma and Self-Care

The Shelter:

The Domestic Violence Shelter was one of the first three shelters in Ohio when we opened the doors in 1979. The Shelter is more than just a safe place for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking- we are also a program. You can learn more about these programs by going to http://www.thedvshelter.com/. The Shelter offers the following programs and services:

  • 24/7 Crisis Line: 1-800-931-SAFE (7233)
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Case Management
  • Youth Advocacy
  • Peer Support Groups
  • Sexual Assault Advocacy Program
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Community Education
  • Outreach
  • Volunteer Program

What is Trauma?

Trauma is considered to be a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. At The Shelter, we generally talk about the trauma of sexual assault or domestic violence, but we understand that there are many other life events that can cause trauma.

Some events that can cause trauma include: Natural disasters, house fires, military service, car accidents, loss of a loved one. This workshop will narrow in on the trauma caused by abuse, but understand that reactions can be similar from all types of trauma! To learn more about trauma and domestic violence, check out http://www.ncdsv.org/images/ODVN_Trauma-and-You_May-2013.pdf

Reactions to Trauma

A survivor of trauma can experience a wide range of reactions. Some common emotional, psychological and physical reactions can include:

  • Guilt and shame
  • Self-Blame
  • Fear
  • Distrust
  • Isolation
  • Anger
  • Denial
  • Hopelessness
  • Apprehensive and discouraged about the future
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Eating disorders
  • Misuse of substances
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts (If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention LIfeline at 1-800-273-8255
  • Increased startle response
  • Concerns about physical safety
  • Physical injuries
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle tension
  • Concerns about pregnancy or contractive an STI/HIV

If you have experienced any of these effects and would like more information, call The Shelter’s 24/7 Crisis Line at 1-800-931-SAFE (7233)

Self Care

Even if you haven’t experienced a traumatic event such as domestic violence or sexual assault, the stressors of everyday life can have similar reactions on your physical and mental health. The pressures of working a job, being a good spouse or a good parent can cause stress. This is why self-care is so important for everyone.

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well being and health. In other words, self-care is what we do to to make sure we are ok. It can be as elaborate as going to the spa or as simple as saying no to extra responsibilities at work. Self-care includes a wide array of things and can come in many different forms, depending on who you are and what your lifestyle is like.

Some benefits of practicing self-care are improving overall health, experiencing less anger and anxiety, achieving a healthy work-life balance, preventing burnout, and increasing productivity. It’s important to incorporate self-care strategies into your everyday life, but it can be hard to know where to begin. Some of our favorite self-care strategies include going on walks, listening to music, taking a relaxing bath, or having a healthy snack. Even things like getting up early enough for a cup of coffee or checking something off your to-do list can be considered self-care. If you’d like more ideas, visit our blog post.

What are your favorite self-care strategies? Share them in the comments.

Guided Meditation

Some people find guided meditation to be an excellent self-care practice. You can find countless options on Youtube for free! Guided meditations can help you focus on your breathing, relaxation, or just give you an excuse to put your stress aside for a few moments. Here’s one to try out! https://youtu.be/3UW-x4Hixa0. “Relieve Stress & Anxiety with Simple Breathing Techniques” was not created by The Domestic Violence Shelter, nor do we own the materials. All credit belongs to the video creator, AskDrJo.

Next Wednesday Workshop- January 6 at 1:30pm!

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Our next workshop will discuss the realities of human trafficking in America. Be sure to catch us on The Domestic Violence Shelter of Richland County, OH Facebook

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