The body is where we live. It is where we fear, hope, and react. It’s where we constrict and relax. And what the body cares most about are safety and survival. The body either has a sense of safety or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t it will do almost anything to establish or recover that sense of safety.

Whether something happened recently, years ago, or is ongoing, you may be coping with the short and long term effects. At times, you may feel anxious, sad, overwhelmed, numb or disconnected from your body, having trouble concentrating, experiencing intrusive thoughts, or a range of other impacts. All of these things make sense. 

Your body is doing the best that it can to protect itself. This is a normal response. And, we recognize that this response may feel like it is interrupting things you would like to be doing. 

There are many healing-centered practices that can be helpful. Some of them might be things you try on your own, and some of them might be things you decide to try with others. There are also things that you are likely already doing to create and maintain your own well-being. 

Continue to do things you enjoy. Sometimes doing things you enjoy can be a helpful distraction and sometimes it just makes you feel better or more like yourself. These are just a few ideas:

  • Listening to music that you love
  • Watch a movie or TV show
  • Writing, drawing, painting, etc.
  • Spend time with a friend or significant other
  • Work on a project that you like
  • Take a warm shower
  • Connect with someone you haven’t talked to in a while (call, FaceTime,etc.)
  • Look at funny memes or videos
  • Go for a walk 

Resources Related to Healing 

Survivors have led movements to transform culture and heal. To find out more visit Transforming Culture.

Resources on Mindfulness and Embodiment

Mindfulness is about focusing attention on the present instead of worrying about the future or replaying the past. Embodiment is about prioritizing the body in the present moment. This can include using the breath as an anchor to come back to, noticing things in the environment, or moving in a way that feels good in your body.

  • Some things you can pay attention to: sensation, emotion, thinking, and external perception. This can include the temperature of things, such as: 
    • Noticing if things are warm or cool.
    • Intentionally noticing the temperature of your breath on the inhale and exhale
    • Intentionally holding/drinking things that are hot or cold, such as freezing an orange to hold, drinking hot tea and feeling the mug, putting your hands in freezing water, taking a cold or hot shower.
  • Mindful movement—this may include:
    • Noticing the sound of your shoes when you walk or feeling your feet on the ground
    • Increasing pressure, such as through the use of a weighted blanket
    • Tensing/contracting and releasing different muscles in your body

For more practices, check out the Healing & Advocacy Resource Folder.

Resources related to Mindfulness and Embodiment


Online Resources

Resources for Sleep

Online resources
Additional Resources:

The more we practice these things, even when feeling okay, the easier it is to remember to try and use them in the more difficult moments.