Human beings are inherently social creatures.

We’re not wired to go it alone.

Having a range of social connections helps our happiness, health, and well-being. Feeling connected to, and supported by people in your life is a critical part of recovering from trauma.

But sometimes the effects of trauma make it hard to reach out for assistance.

Feeling distant or wary of other people is common after a traumatic event; you might not want to talk about it.

Overcoming these barriers means reflecting on the types of support you want in your life, and those you need.

It can be helpful to start out small; take it one step at a time.

You might think about what helped you connect with people before the trauma and engage in activities or interests that make you feel included and connected to people.

It can be hard to rebuild connections if you’ve been absent for a while; let people know why it’s been hard to spend time with them.

Be upfront about what you need from them; you’ll be surprised how happy they are to help.

Even support with simple things reminds you people are there for you.

And providing support to others will remind you of your value and worth.

Starting a new activity can help make new connections. And your most important support could come from family or friends.

Or it could come from a trusted professional, helping you work on your recovery.

It’s helpful to have a network of people, so that we’re not relying on just one person.

Remember, you’re not alone. Drawing on social support will help with your recovery, and help you reclaim your life.

Reclaiming life tips - transcript

Following a traumatic event it can be hard to stay involved with important, meaningful activities.

Even things that used to be fun can lose their appeal.

But an important part of recovery is reclaiming a sense of normality and structure in everyday life.

The first step is identifying the situations and experiences that we’ve been avoiding, places that seem unsafe, situations that don’t seem bearable, things that remind us of the trauma, then having a plan for gradually getting back into those activities again.

It can be daunting so it’s important to approach situations in steps.

Taking each step can be hard, but as we get used to the situation, the feelings of anxiety start to fade, things start to feel safe, and we’re ready to take the next step, and the next.

It’s important to remember, people can help you take these steps to reclaim your life.

It might be worthwhile speaking to a professional about trauma recovery.

They can help you plan to cope with tough situations and deal with difficult emotions.

With support and the right plan, you can reclaim your life.