Taking control of your life following a traumatic event can be very challenging. There are no shortcuts here, but there are some things you can do to help you return to a more normal existence when you are ready.
Get into a Routine
One of the most effective ways of regaining control over your days and ensuring that you are using your time as effectively as possible is to get yourself into a daily routine. Starting a routine is one thing, but settling into a routine until it becomes second nature is the real challenge. The best way of making a new routine become a habit is to start small and work your way up.
Don’t try to completely change your life overnight. Instead, take smaller steps that you know you can achieve and then build-up to the big stuff. Once you notice yourself getting into and following a new routine, you will start to feel better about yourself. Once you have started to make some changes, you will start finding it much easier to make subsequent changes.
Give Yourself Goals
Setting yourself firm goals and objectives is a fantastic motivational tool and can help you to reestablish control over your life. Setting yourself goals is a good way of getting that new routine rolling. You will still need to be able to exercise a good deal of willpower, but by breaking up your long-term objectives into shorter and more achievable goals, you will make things considerably easier for yourself.
As you start to achieve your objectives, you will find that your motivation increases. Before long, you will be able to consider completing goals that you previously would have thought beyond your capabilities.
Your goals should include short-term, medium-term, and long-term objectives. For example, in the short-term, you might want to start eating more healthily and developing a consistent sleep routine. However, over the long-term, you might be looking for a new career path. Overcoming your own trauma and adversity will perfectly position you to work in the field of social care, helping other people to navigate their own traumatic experiences.
Over the last decade or so, the ability to study LCSW programs online has meant that the field has become accessible to many people who would otherwise have been unable to achieve the necessary qualifications and training.
Reduce Vices and Unhealthy Comforts
We all have our own comforts, things we turn to when we feel down. For many of us, the things we choose aren’t particularly healthy. If you are only prone to feeling depressed on rare occasions, this might not be a big deal. However, if you are trying to recover from serious trauma, you may find that you need to rely on these comforts more often than usual, and this can lead to unhealthy habits making their way into your daily routine.
In order to regain control of your life following trauma, you need to reduce your reliance on addictive substances. Remember, addictive substances don’t just include recreational drugs – alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and sugar can all be addictive. Similarly, activities such as gambling can be addictive and can become a crutch for many people.
Try to reduce these things from your life as much as possible. You don’t have to completely eliminate caffeine from your life. However, if you can learn to start the day without being reliant on that first cup of coffee, you will feel more in control.
Remember the Fundamentals
Even if you are looking to make some pretty significant long-term changes in your life, it is important that you don’t forget the most fundamental components of a happy and fulfilling lifestyle. For example, you need to focus on your diet, exercise and sleep schedule, regardless of anything else. These things are not nearly as difficult to get right as many people think they are.
In terms of your diet, most people just need to add in some more fruit and veg while cutting out junk food. Sure, you can dive much deeper into what makes for a well-rounded diet, but for most of us there is no need to go overboard if we want to reap the benefits of a more balanced diet.
If you can set aside 20 minutes a day for a brisk walk or similar form of exercise, you will find that this makes a very real difference to your overall health and fitness. Once you start exercising, you may well find that you enjoy it more than you are expecting. If you can do it every day, it will soon become second-nature.
After a traumatic event, retaking control of your life can often feel like it’s a long way off. However, control will return to you eventually. Remember to think about the long and short term, break up your biggest challenges into small goals, and you will see what you can achieve.