The “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is also the most frantic! During the holiday season, it seems like at least once a week we are racing to an event. Let’s not get started talking about the rush to buy presents! But during this season of giving, what are we giving ourselves besides added stress?
It’s easy for survivors to undervalue the need for self-care. We often distract ourselves from the pain of our trauma by finding satisfaction in helping others. But what are we doing for ourselves? There is a reason that airlines tell us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we help anyone else out.
Survivors of sexual abuse have additional pressures that can make taking care of others more complicated. We have worked to better understand how to use our voice. We have processed our reactions when we feel others have either not heard, or chosen to ignore our words. We might even view, at times, our compulsion to look after others as a way to distract ourselves from difficult thoughts, feelings or even tasks. When we shine the light outward, it prevents us from seeing any darkness within. By not looking at our own needs we are neglecting an essential part of our healing and both spiritual and mental growth.