“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Happiness and freedom may come easy at times and harder at others. We have experienced a great deal of trauma in our community recently and many are walking about with heavy hearts. Having compassion for yourself and those in your life during trying times just might include recognizing that you might be experiencing traumatic stress. Even if you have not been the direct victim of a traumatic event it can still have a significant impact on you emotionally, one which can be confusing and intense.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed – here are four ways you can show compassion for yourself:
- Give yourself permission to be imperfect
- Practice a random act of kindness for a neighbor or volunteer at your favorite nonprofit
- Reach out to a loved one or a friend far you have not spoken to recently
- Disconnect from social media for 24 hours
If you have experienced trauma yourself, or know someone who has – it may be important to reach out to a trained healthcare professional to help you work through the emotional impact and stress, both what you recognize, and what is below the surface.
There are many community resources available and many employers offer an amazing benefit called an EAP or Employee Assistance Program that will provide free counseling sessions to you and your family members outside of any healthcare plan you may or may not have.
If you or someone you know has been affected by the trauma of domestic or sexual abuse at any point in your life and you are still struggling to cope with it, I’d encourage you to reach out to the WCA. Traumatic events in the community can often be triggers to our own past experiences, and bring up emotions that we thought we had moved past.
Remember our 24-hour hotline 208-343-7025 and our website at wcaboise.org.
Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline: Text or Call 1-208-398-4357
Terry Reilly Health Services
2-1-1 Idaho CareLine
The Compassion Project: Let us be the ones who transform our world by allowing compassion to lead our action. Throughout the year, this column will feature the various ways to have compassion for others, for our specific organization, and for yourself.
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