Self care is a deliberate and intentional process of tending to one’s mind, body, and spirit. It includes not only your ability to take care of the activities of daily living, but also includes activities that you engage in to relax and attain emotional well-being. Self care is not meant to be superficial. Self care asks us to delve deep and heal from within.
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The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.
Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.
8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery: Take-Charge Strategies to Empower Your Healing by Babette Rothschild
Trauma recovery is tricky; however, there are several key principles that can help make the process safe and effective. This book gives self help readers, therapy clients, and therapists alike the skills to understand and implement eight keys to successful trauma healing: mindful identification of what is helpful, recognizing survival, having the option to not remember, creating a supportive inner dialogue, forgiving not being able to stop the trauma, understanding and sharing shame, finding your own recovery pace; mobilizing your body, and helping others. After reading this book, readers will be able to recognize their own individual needs and evaluate whether those needs are being met. They will have the tools necessary to put themselves in the driver’s seat, navigating their own safe road to recovery.
Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter A. Levine and Ann Frederick
Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful, impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations, trauma can be healed.
The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker
In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the nation’s leading expert on violent behavior, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger—before it’s too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including…how to act when approached by a stranger…when you should fear someone close to you…what to do if you are being stalked…how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls…the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person…and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life.
Trigger Warning: Child sexual abuse, sexual abuse, rape
In her courageous talk, Liz shares her life experience in overcoming childhood sexual abuse and the resulting trauma. Her work to help others with similar experiences integrates yoga, meditation, and energy medicine to reveal a clear path to inner resources for daily living.
Trigger Warning: Child sexual abuse
Sasha Joseph Neulinger speaks about his journey in life as a survivor of multi-generational sexual abuse.
In his work with trauma patients, Dr. Rigg has observed how the brain is constantly reacting to sensory information, generating non-thinking reactions before our intelligent individual human brains are able to process the event and formulate a self-driven response.
PTSD disrupts the lives of average individuals as well as combat veterans who have served their country. The person experiencing the trauma often then impacts the lives of his/her family, friends, and workplaces. PTSD does not distinguish between race, age or gender and often goes undiagnosed. Even with proper diagnosis, many individuals do not know where to turn to get help. Society needs to understand the aftermath of trauma especially combat trauma and how to prepare for warriors when they return home.
Hunt shares his story with the audience noting that resilience is one of the most important traits to have, is critical to their happiness and success, & can be learned.
Why are trauma survivors happier, on average, than lottery winners? During her recovery from a devastating accident, Lindsey Roy developed ideas and ways of coping that suggest an answer to that question. Learn about her specific methods for overcoming the brain’s natural negativity bias, letting go of past expectations, and connecting to a deeper self in the here and now. Through a challenging recovery process, Lindsey learned impactful lessons on how to harness disruption and find clarity in the chaos.
Dr. Treisman talks about the importance of forging good relationships and effective society-wide systems when it comes to understanding and healing trauma.
Trauma silences its victims, says creative arts therapist Melissa Walker, but art can help those suffering from the psychological wounds of war begin to open up and heal. In this inspiring talk, Walker describes how mask-making, in particular, allows afflicted servicemen and women reveal what haunts them — and, finally, start to let it go.
Healing and Moving Forward
Heal for Life by Liz Mullinar
Heal for Life will help you understand trauma, how it creates emotional triggers, how to ‘de-trigger’ and feel safe, and how to permanently overcome and heal childhood trauma. The Heal for Life Model has already empowered 8,500 survivors of childhood trauma or abuse find inner peace and hope for a brighter future.
Healing My Life from Incest to Joy by Donna Jenson
In chronicling the physical and spiritual steps she took to reclaim her life and peel away the layers of damage done by incest, Jenson has written a powerful narrative of one person’s healing journey. And though the subject matter is deeply serious, Jenson writes with her sense of humor firmly intact, reminding us that joy is possible in the face of great pain. Poignant, brave, and helpful, Healing My Life offers a much-needed testimony for anyone affected by or concerned about childhood sexual abuse. “Healing My Life is a story that is unique and personal in its detail, yet also universal and human in its impact. If we could raise even one generation without violence or shaming, we have no idea what might be possible.” -Gloria Steinem
In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.
Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
How can we live our lives when everything seems to fall apart—when we are continually overcome by fear, anxiety, and pain? The answer, Pema Chödrön suggests, might be just the opposite of what you expect. Here, in her most beloved and acclaimed work, Pema shows that moving toward painful situations and becoming intimate with them can open up our hearts in ways we never before imagined. Drawing from traditional Buddhist wisdom, she offers life-changing tools for transforming suffering and negative patterns into habitual ease and boundless joy.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
Secret Survivors: Real-Life Stories To Give You Hope For Healing by Jen Howver and Megan Hutchinson
Written for teens, but also incredibly helpful to anyone working with students, Secret Survivors tells the compelling, true stories of people who have lived through painful secrets. As teens read stories about rape, addiction, cutting, abuse, abortion, and more, they’ll identify with the universal pain in each story and find the strength to share their own story and start healing.
Love Warrior: A Memoir by Glennon Doyle Melton
A memoir of betrayal and self-discovery by bestselling author Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring account of how we are all born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.
Journals and Devotionals
The Mindfulness Journal: Daily Practices, Writing Prompts, and Reflections for Living in the Present Moment by Barrie Davenport and S.J. Scott
Mindfulness is about being aware and attentive to the present moment. It sounds easy, but it takes some practice to make mindfulness your go-to way of living. With “The Mindfulness Journal,” you will have simple activities to practice each day, and then you will write about your experiences with mindfulness, which reinforces your efforts. This journal provides a total of 365 daily writing prompts divided into 52 weekly mindfulness topics. This arrangement gives you seven days to immerse yourself in each topic. It is designed to awaken you to mindfulness in various natural moments throughout your day, as well as with some activities that may be new for you.
Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self Exploration by Meera Lee Patel
Start Where You Are is an interactive journal designed to help readers nurture their creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. It helps readers navigate the confusion and chaos of daily life with a simple reminder: that by taking the time to know ourselves and what those dreams are, we can appreciate the world around us and achieve our dreams. Meera Lee Patel’s uplifting book presents supportive prompts and exercises along with inspirational quotes to encourage reflection through writing, drawing, chart-making, and more.
Most women today are frantic, lost in an endless cycle of busyness caused by constant pressure to perform up to unrealistic expectations of perfection, many of which are self-imposed. This journal cuts to the heart of the problem by showing women how to reconnect with their inner selves through solitude, introspection, and contemplation of what’s truly important to them as individuals and family members. Give yourself permission to be Present, Not Perfect.
What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful? Disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In this devotional, Lysa invites readers into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps readers discover how to better process painful situations, how to encourage a friend and help them navigate hard realities, and the secret of being steadfast.
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst
Uninvited reminds readers that they are destined for a love that can never be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken — a love that does not reject or uninvite. With biblical depth, gut honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, this devotional will help you change your tendency to either fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process your hurt.
If you’re interested in devotionals, generally, Lysa offers a number of others, available here.
52 Lists for Happiness by Moorea Seal
52 Lists for Happiness is the follow-up journal to the best selling The 52 Lists Project. Drawing on Moorea’s happiness research and her own personal philosophy, her latest journal focuses on cultivating a happy and fulfilling life through the power of lists. Through weekly practice and simple list making tools, you will delve deeper into your own understanding of what happiness truly means to you as you explore how to live a happier life everyday.