When I wake up in the morning, I write. This practice started when I was very young but I honed the skill and habit when I was at University in 2002. At that time, I came across Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. She describes a practice called Morning Pages and even now, twenty-some years later, I still practice this daily routine. The big difference between writing for Morning Pages and writing for this blog is that Morning Pages are meant to be purely stream-of-consciousness writing, without stopping or filtering, for a straight period of time. When I write for this blog, I do edit for grammar, tact and purpose. So it’s not completely uncensored the way Morning Pages are, yet, I suspect there’s a hint of it in the text, since I do write these Recovery Chronicles in the morning when my mind is free from the clutter & criticism of the day. There’s something so open and freeing about the early morning thoughts, isn’t there? That’s what I try to capture in these Chronicles.
I hope sharing my day-to-day life journey with you brings some inspiration. At times, because of the challenges in my life’s circumstances I’ve been very misunderstood. I hope these Chronicles bring understanding.
When I wake up and feel overwhelmed I do a few things that helps bring clarity, focus & determination. In my meditation, I envision myself doing the thing I want to do, for example, walk 5k steps before noon. When I imagine it, I observe if any negative emotions come up, such as anxiety or fear. If it does, then I work with the solutions for those negative emotions (which I’ll explore in more depth in upcoming articles). Once I shift the anxiety or fear, and feel Confident & Courageous about the situation then I get up and go do the thing.
The other thing I do is listen to inspiring (usually classical or solfeggio) music while I’m writing because this calms the nerves at an unconscious level while I’m focusing on a certain task.
The third thing that’s helpful is doing some form of EMDR or tapping. This helps to relax the nervous system so I can bring peaceful energy to the day.
In time, I can share some of these resources with you but for now I just want to share how helpful they are.
Because my trauma began in infancy and was continuous until my 20s there’s a lot of stored emotion in my body that isn’t processed. Sadness, hurt, guilt, fear, jealousy, anger – I run the gamete. It’s all there. On any given day I never know what strong negative emotion I’m going to wake up to. That’s why I developed a practice many years ago, of working through the negative emotions as soon as I wake up, so I can face the day in the best version of myself. I want to face the day coming from a place of Peacefulness and Enthusiasm – not fear & anxiety.
There are two other practices which I also do regularly – yoga and walking. I’ve struggled with both of these since the first car accident in 2019 but I do practice both regularly. These two practices keep me grounded and keep my body healthy.
So these are the main things that help me manage symptoms of PTSD without medication. What techniques, strategies or practices help you? Leave your favourite stress-relieving practice in the comments below.
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