Skip to content

A Word on Trauma Stewardship

I work as a counsellor for a crisis line as well as in my private practice.

Last weekend the team was busy as people were calling in sad, scared and unsettled by the horror events in Bondi Junction.

A word on trauma stewardship:

Empathy without guardrails can draw your nervous system into a spiral where your brain’s alert system sends signals to your body, thinking you are in danger, leaving you anxious, heavy and distressed.

Trauma stewardship means tending to yourself so traumatic events happening to other people don’t leave an imprint of trauma in your body.

It doesn’t mean you’re less compassionate, or selfish. You can feel for and tend to others AND tend to yourself.

I use all of these practices and others regularly:

🍃 Keep bringing yourself back to the present over and over.
🍃 Stand with bare feet on the grass.
🍃 Ground yourself in place, name 5 things you can see and 4 things you can touch.
🍃 Rub your chest in circles for a minute or two. Time it.
🍃 Breathe slowly into your belly with longer exhales for 4 cycles.
🍃 Do something that gets your heart rate up for a minimum of 3 minutes.
🍃 Light a candle, send love, pray, journal, whatever feels right for you.
🍃 Don’t isolate yourself.
🍃 Disconnect from the news. Go to it, don’t let it come to you.
🍃 Resist the comments section.
🍃 Acknowledge what this event is bringing up for you. Talk with someone about it.
🍃 Feel your feelings. Name them, they will pass.
🍃 Speak to yourself with compassion.
🍃 Turn towards connection; people, pets, nature.

Reach out if you’re struggling. I see clients online Australia wide & in Marrickville in-person.

Or call:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1800 22 46 36
1800 RESPECT

Written by

You might also enjoy

Download 'Melancholy': an excerpt from "The Sentimental Non-Believer."

Melancholy is a reflection on the way Easter used to feel and how it feels now.