traumatized woman seeking help in a psychiatrist

Resilience and Healing: Practical Strategies for Recovery after a Traumatic Event

  • Trauma can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression, but recovery is possible through support groups, self-care, and mindful practices. 
  • Getting enough sleep, talking to loved ones for support, and setting realistic goals are effective strategies for trauma recovery. 
  • Creative outlets like writing, painting, and playing music can help express emotions and relieve stress.
  • Mindfulness techniques such as meditation, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation can reduce trauma symptoms. 
  • Celebrate successes along the way to stay motivated in your healing journey.

In the United States, mental illnesses are prevalent, with over 57.8 million adults living with a mental illness, more than one in five U.S. adults. Mental illnesses have varying degrees of severity ranging from mild to moderate to severe, encompassing various conditions.

Traumatic events can disrupt the flow of people’s lives, and it can be challenging to find a way to rebuild them. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a serious illness, an accident, or a violent crime, the aftermath of trauma can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. It can prevent you from living your life fully, stop you from doing what you love, and impact your relationships. However, recovering and regaining resilience through the following practical strategies that promote healing is possible.

Family and friends enjoying a barbecue at home.

Seek Support from Friends and Family

Your loved ones can be pillars of strength in your recovery journey. They can listen to you, empathize with your struggles, and help you through challenging moments. Sometimes, just talking to someone can help you feel better.

Support Group

If you don’t have family or friends to support you, consider finding a support group or therapist specializing in trauma recovery. You can also join a well-rounded group therapy session. In these sessions, you can share your experiences with others who have gone through similar things. This can help you feel less alone and more understood.

Practice Self-Care

Trauma can take a toll on your body and mind. It is essential to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Take time to rest, eat nutritious meals, and exercise regularly. Engage in activities that make you happy, such as reading, listening to music, or spending time in nature.

Enough Sleep

Make sure to get plenty of sleep. Spend time with supportive friends and family. Talk to a therapist if needed. It is important to remember that you are not alone and that help is available if you need it. Taking care of yourself can help you cope with the effects of trauma and start healing.

Get Creative

Creative outlets such as writing, painting, dancing, or playing music can help you express your emotions and cope with stress. These activities can help you gain a sense of control over your thoughts and feelings, promoting healing and resilience.

Creative Activities

Make time to explore creative activities that you enjoy, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. This can be a great way to focus on yourself and relieve stress. You could also try something new, like journaling or cooking, as long as it makes you feel relaxed and happy.

Cultivate Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique that focuses on the present moment, allowing you to become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Practicing mindfulness can help you regulate emotions, reduce stress, and improve your mental well-being.

Reduce Symptoms

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and stress reduction are effective techniques for reducing trauma symptoms and promoting resilience. Techniques such as meditation, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation are forms of mindfulness that can help cultivate a sense of being in the moment.

Aware of Triggers

With consistent practice, you may be able to become more aware of your triggers that lead to anxiety or other stress-related symptoms. Developing mindful behaviors like taking time for yourself and practicing gratitude can positively impact your mental health.

Young woman practicing yoga at home.

Develop a Plan for the Future

Having goals and aspirations can give you a sense of direction, purpose, and hope. Having a plan for the future that brings you joy, such as travel, education, or a career change, is vital.


Visualization of positive future events can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. When creating a plan for the future, it is essential to think realistically about what is possible and evaluate your financial, emotional, and physical resources.

Realistic Goals

To begin, set realistic goals for yourself in the short term and long term. Then create a timeline of how you’ll get there and break down each step into manageable and achievable pieces. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from people you trust along the way. Finally, celebrate your successes and use them as motivation to continue working towards achieving your long-term goals.

Healing after trauma is a journey that can be challenging and overwhelming at times. However, resilience is not something that only some people possess; it is a skill that can be developed. By seeking support from friends and family, practicing self-care, being creative, cultivating mindfulness, and creating a plan for the future, you can recover from trauma and become stronger and more resilient. Remember, healing takes time, so be patient and kind to yourself throughout your recovery.

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