Sleeplessness, anxiety, unhealthy eating habits—we often regard these as just part of the “modern life”. But these can have more far-reaching effects on our well-being. And many times, people don’t realize that these often disregarded factors can be traced from an unaddressed trauma.
The discourse around this becomes extra important as the world navigates a 180-degree shift in our lives as individuals and societies to cope with a pandemic. People explore a newly evolving world of work, mostly, with uncertainty and a small support system.
But this episode’s guest, Patrick Harraghy, a therapist specializing in trauma, is out to take listeners through it with his five resources to stabilize our lives, whether traumatized or not.
For Patrick, these five key resources—exercise, food, engagement, relaxation, and sleep—may seem simple and have always been a part of the health and wellbeing narrative. Yet people continue to take for granted many of them, especially sleep.
A lot of healing happens during sleep—both for physical and mental healing. But trauma—whether developmental or shock trauma—often messes up one’s ability to get a good night’s sleep. And hence, the lack of it affects the body’s ability to recover and heal. And so it is important to know and practice some techniques to get a good night’s sleep.
Practicing sleep hygiene would usually involve small habits such as not having caffeine in the evening, not eating late, not taking alcohol, trying to go to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time (so activate the internal clock), and preparing for sleep like a baby like going for a bath and doing something but not watching TV, etc.
In Ayurveda, this has been discussed in Samhita—how you run your day, creating an evening routine, and creating the atmosphere for sleep.
But dealing with trauma is a long-haul flight. It can be activated later in our lives. The body tends to protect us from that trauma, shifting us to avoidance mode for so long, but then something might come and trigger it. A lot of people become self-reliant because of trauma and develop difficulty in reaching out. Hence, creating a safe space and opening up the self to external support is key to addressing the trauma for good. And of course, practicing these five resources works wonders!
To Patrick, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help. Life is not a rehearsal and so life should be lived in its full potential. There’s a good life out there to be lived.
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- A lot of healing happens during sleep. – Patrick Harraghy
- Self-care is very important, so I can be more available for the clients. – Patrick Harraghy
- With covid, a different kind of stress builds up within the home, especially with people working from home. Get out for a walk, even for just 10 minutes. It’s important to get out of the environment and respect boundaries. – Patrick Harraghy
- Don’t freak out; reach out. We all struggle. But life is there to be fair. We’re all just human beings. – Alexandra Kreis
- Seek help. Life is not a rehearsal. And so life should be lived in its full potential. There’s a good life out there to be lived. – Patrick Harraghy
Patrick Harraghy is a psychotherapist at Centre Professional Therapy, specializing in trauma. His practice deals with trauma caused by traffic accidents, industrial accidents, shootings, sexual abuse, bullying, etc. Patrick is currently in Ireland and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy(IACP). Patrick met Alexandra in yoga with a common interest: to help people in their journeys for a more stable, well-lived life.