December is a month full of feelings - it can be exciting to finish off exams, work or just admire the snow. But it can also be really hard and isolating with everyone around you seemingly like they have loads fun things planned for the break. Here’s the thing: many of us struggle during the holidays. Whether being around family, the loss of community, or struggles with money, anxiety and loneliness, it can be especially difficult for those who have been subjected to sexual violence. We see you, believe you and want you to know you are not alone. We are here to give you some ways to keep on keepin’ on. Here is a list of the top six ways to help you be kind to yourself and practice putting yourself first during this school break.
The Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education will be putting out one self-care tip per day (with a photo of adorable animals… and maybe Drake) until school starts up again! Here is the link to the Consent Comes First self-care newsletter: https://tinyletter.com/webelieveyou
1. Remember to give your brain little breaks.
Five minutes is sometimes all you need to recharge your brain and get a new perspective. Get up, stretch, get out of your room or even have a little dance party to your favourite Beyonce/Drake/banger.
2. Make time to snuggle.
Whether it’s with your partner, friend, family, pet, plush toy, or pillow, it’s up to you. Snuggling is a great way to feel comfort during this season.
2016 has been long. Take time to catch up on the zzz…
5. It’s okay to want space.
You don’t always have to be active or involved during this busy month. Not everyone gets energy from social interaction and you may need time alone to recharge from the experience. This can include time away from social media.
Sometimes we forget to give ourselves a moment to just let go and let out a good hearty laugh. Go do something fun, something silly! Watch that one cat vine on repeat, maybe show it to show to a friend and laugh together (if they’re a good friend they’ll laugh even if it’s not funny).
P.S. of course we couldn’t have a self care list without a photo of Drake laughing.
At the end of the day, if none of these tips work, know that everyone takes care of themselves in their own way. Just remember that it’s okay to not be okay.
If at any point your self care practices aren’t helping, there are people who can help you. If there is no one immediately around you to help, here are some numbers you can call:
People of all genders, can contact Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centre of Peel:
If you self identify as a woman, you can call the Assaulted Women’s Hotline:
If you self identify as a man, you can call the Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse: 1-866-887-0015
If you self identify as LGBTQ, you can contact the LGBTQ Youthline:
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