SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — We’re at the end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it’s time to heal. The first order of business is to lift the fog of confusion that comes with most forms of abuse. When it comes to surviving domestic violence, learning to breathe correctly is one easy and free exercise to calm your mind so you can think clearly. When a victim begins to get clarity, they can get on their feet. Once on their feet, they can walk away.
Here are a few other cost-free techniques proven to lower your stress levels.
- Walks expel energy, get your blood moving, and provide fresh oxygen and sunshine.
- Therapeutic baths will calm your mind and muscles.
- Self-care such as exercise or giving yourself a facial can help.
- Create a circle of support so you don’t feel alone.
- Doing something fun can change your chemical makeup.
When a survivor is ready to go a little deeper, there are apps that offer paths to serenity. One you may have heard of is called “Calm” with a catalog of music and breathing exercises to restore emotional balance. Another app is called “Aura” and it offers emotional health through soothing sounds, guided meditation, and even hypnosis. The apps boast that users can start to feel better in as little as three minutes.
Mary Hubbard of Shrink Savannah says it’s important for survivors to get a psych-education to understand the abuse and the effects it’s had. Getting a therapist is highly recommended as a way for survivors to gain understanding, and control of their own wellbeing, “I would advocate for anyone to go and get help because if you aren’t dealing with the trauma or the issues that happened in the past, it’s just going to stay with you.”
If you’re having trouble getting an appointment, there are a few apps that will give you a jump start. “Circles” offers live group therapy on a variety of topics, right on your phone. It costs about $20 per month, but it offers 24/7 live community support. Another is called “My Plan” which offers assessment questionnaires and organizational tools for safe escape.
When a survivor of domestic violence is ready to leave a toxic relationship, Chief Jeff Hadley of the Chatham County Police Department reminds them that there are people and services waiting to help, “We’ve got a wonderful SAFE Shelter who provides all kinds of resources for victims of domestic violence and their children, and so I would encourage you to be courageous and get the help that you need, and we’re going to be here to help you.”