If you are experiencing family or domestic violence, it is important to get support for yourself and your children (if you have any) during this difficult time, and to practice self-care to look after your own health and wellbeing. Below are some suggestions to get you started. Remember that you do not need to do everything all at once; choose one or two to begin with and aim to incorporate them into your life at your own pace.
If you are feeling anxious or depressed, it is always a good idea to speak to your GP, a counsellor, or psychologist to get professional support. You can find a list of local, state and national counselling services in our online directory.
Talk to someone you trust
Confiding in someone can help ease worry and lessen feelings of isolation. There are many ways to access counselling services including in person, online, or over the phone. Counsellors can also assist with referrals, finding emergency accommodation, developing a safety plan or just being someone safe to talk to. 1800RESPECT offers a free, confidential and anonymous domestic violence counselling service over the phone on 1800 737 732. Alternatively, to find counselling services in your area, visit our online directory.
Join a group
Joining a group can provide you with the opportunity to meet new people who have similar interests to you, or even similar experiences. They can lessen feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as offer a renewed sense of purpose. We understand that there may be little or no opportunity to join a group in the country, so joining online groups is a good alternative. There is a range of different types of groups available, including those based on hobbies, through to common interests, and also specific domestic violence support groups.
Look after your physical health
Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise will help your body to function effectively and regulate your mood. Exercise does not have to be rigorous, simply spending 30 minutes walking or gardening will suffice. You can find some great information on healthy eating here.
Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night is integral to self-care, and will help improve energy, mood, and overall health.
Limit drug, alcohol, and stimulant use
It is best to try to limit your use of drugs, alcohol, and stimulants as they can have negative side effects. If you are concerned about the amount you are drinking or drugs you are taking, you may wish to find a drugs and alcohol support service in your area or visit this website for more information.
Mind & Spirit
Self-affirmations are incredibly effective. They serve as powerful reminders that you have survived, especially in moments when you feel weak. Click here for some inspiration on creating your own self-affirmations.
Keep a journal
Writing your thoughts down can be therapeutic. It can also help you to sort through any confusing thoughts that may play on your mind1. A journal does not have to be written down on paper, you could use your computer or an online platform instead. If you are unsure how to start writing a journal, read this blog to help you get started.
Set goals and create to-do lists
Being able to tick off small tasks and work towards goals can empower and motivate you through regaining control. You might like to write them down on a piece of paper or keep them electronically. ReachOut has some helpful tips on setting goals, and Art of Smart for making to-do lists.
Mindfulness and relaxation techniques
Practicing mindfulness and employing relaxation techniques can help calm you, improve your mood, and move you towards a healthy headspace. There are some free apps that can guide you through relaxation and mindfulness practice, such as the Smiling Mind App or 1GiantMind App.
Be kind to yourself
Remember to be kind to yourself by taking the time to practice self-care and treat yourself to breaks.