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.