Many survivors find it hard to manage their distress or soothe themselves. That’s because complex trauma, especially from childhood makes managing everyday stress difficult. The toxic stress which trauma causes is often repeated, ongoing and even harder to manage than everyday stress. This is because trauma or toxic stress over time can affect our body and mind.

If we aren’t comforted and validated especially as children, we can look for other ways to calm ourselves down. Some of these can harm us e.g. self-harm, using alcohol or drugs, acting out, being impulsive.

The good news is that survivors can learn different strategies to tolerate their distress as adults. Survivors can also learn how to soothe themselves.

When you’re feeling vulnerable or fragile some of the following suggestions may help you feel nurtured and less fragile.

Woman in White and Brown Scarf Sitting on Beach with Dog

You might try:

  • wrapping yourself up in a soft blanket
  • cuddling a soft toy or pillow
  • hugging and getting a hug from someone you love
  • taking a warm bath
  • having a foot massage
  • crying
  • making yourself a cup of hot chocolate
  • hugging a heat pack
  • playing with the dog
  • cuddling the cat

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Survivor Self-Care

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Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service

Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service



Blue Knot Helpline and Redress Support Service is a specialist service.

Our counsellors provide empathetic, informative and empowering support for adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse.