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A Massachusetts college student reminds us that long term care can be just as important as immediate care.

After experiencing a traumatic event, such as a sexual assault, it is important to remember to take care of yourself. While this is important all of the time, it can be hard to remember to do after experiencing an assault. Here are a few important things to remember to do:

1. Remember proper hygiene. This can be one of the hardest things to do. But a shower or a nice bath can work wonders on the soul. Take a warm shower, get a bath bomb from lush and just relax. Or just remember to shower everyday. Sometimes when we get to that point where we don’t want to move from bed, a shower can get us up and going.

walkselfcare2. Go for walks. Simple exercise is great. The things walks can do for you are amazing. It might be difficult to get out and walking, but once you do, you’ll feel great. It’s the chemicals in your body that respond positively to being active and you will feel it.

3. Hangout with your friends and family. You may not want to see them, but it can really help. Becoming a hermit in your thoughts can be damaging, so remember to spend sometime with those who love and care about you.

4.Do not feel bad if you say ‘no’ to hanging out. Sometimes you just want to curl up in bed with your pup and that’s completely fine. Do not feel bad, if that’s what you need, then do it. Remember this is SELF care. This is my most important point. If you don’t feel up to hanging out with friends and feel stressed about doing so, do not do it. Take care of yourself. Your friends will understand.

5. Watch t.v. Just put on a ridiculous show that makes you laugh. Mindless T.V is the best when you’re upset.

paint6. Paint or draw. Who cares if you’re horrible, a lot of people find these very soothing.

7.Seek help from a therapist if you want to. A lot of people do not like the stigma of seeing a therapist, but talking to someone who is there for you, and can help you develop ways to get over your trauma is extremely helpful.

8. Find a new hobby. When you are feeling upset, finding a good way to channel all that energy or to get your mind off of something is great.

9. Do something you enjoy. Maybe you don’t have time for it all the time, but try to make time to get to do it.

10. Join an advocacy group. You will meet a lot of new people who understand and care for what you’ve gone through. They will be some of the best people for support and you can channel your feelings into something productive.

read11. Relax. Get a nice bath bomb from lush and take a warm bath, curl up in bed with a good book, or get a massage. Pamper yourself (this goes for guys too!) Do whatever helps you relax. You deserve it.

These are some tips to help you remember to practice self-care. Often times we are so busy trying to take care of everyone else in our lives, that we forget to take care of ourselves. Just by doing some of these things, you will see what a difference taking care of yourself can make in your every day life.

**All opinions in this piece are of the writer, Jacqui Sweeney, and do not in any way reflect the opinions of A Voice For The Innocent, the Board Members, or any affiliates.

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