12 Ways To Reclaim Your Body After Sexual Assault

Flickr / Benjamin Balázs
Flickr / Benjamin Balázs

1. Stay active.

Go for a run, lift weights, ride your bike, dance, whatever it may be. Control the way you look as well as the way you feel. Sweat the negative feelings out and inhale fresh, new energy.

2. Be lazy.

Life is all about balance. Don’t beat yourself up over lying in bed watching funny movies all day. Make yourself a priority and don’t deny yourself the right to be an occasional couch dweller.

3. Eat well.

Cook yourself a beautiful meal and fill yourself with it. Take yourself on a date to the farmer’s market and craft a collage of fruits and veggies. Or let yourself order the biggest plate of pancakes your favorite diner has to offer and stuff your face without shame. Don’t forget the powdered sugar.

4. Pamper.

Take a bubble bath and use your favorite bath bombs. Slather yourself in the most fragrant lotion you have. Break out the boldest shade of lipstick you have. Or the most subtle. You may look, smell, and radiate however you would like. And never let anyone tell you otherwise.

5. Be simple.

Go without makeup for a few days or a few weeks. Dress as plainly as you would like. Above all, be comfortable and feel lovely in your own perfect way.

6. Laugh.

Laugh until you can’t breathe. Laugh until your eyes sting with joyful tears. Laugh until your sides burn. Give yourself over to the power of humor. Share it with others or keep it to yourself, it’s your choice.

7. Cry.

When you feel the urge to cry, don’t fight it. Be free to purge sadness, anger, and fear from your body. Embrace the emotions instead of resisting them, even if they make you uneasy. We were given feelings for a reason. Indulge in them.

8. Be with others.

Surround yourself with a loving circle of family and friends. Make a point of calling up someone you haven’t spoken to in ages or be with someone you see all the time. Let them have their beautiful effect on you and never forget to return the favor.

9. Be with yourself.

Take the time to get to know yourself a little bit better. Light a peaceful candle and meditate with your own thoughts. Go for an early morning walk before anyone else is awake and watch the sunrise. Explore a used bookstore and read all the books you thought you never would. Pick your own brain.

10. Treat yourself.

Splurge on you for once. Buy a dress that you feel beautiful in or replace the fluorescent lights in your home with ones you love. Make a wise investment or an impulse purchase. Do a little materialistic something for yourself.

11. Give things away.

Find every article of clothing you don’t wear anymore and donate them all to charity or give them to a friend. Make sure that your living space is only filled with things that bring you joy.

12. Be in control.

Whatever you choose, call the shots and be your own advocate. Say “yes.” Say “no.” Let the ones you love the most into your life and use your strength to bring them closer. Do everything on this list or ignore all of it. Work hard and play harder. Trust your instincts. Be spontaneous. Clear away blame for yourself and replace it with self love. You deserve it. Regardless of your actions, remind yourself that you are the protagonist in the story of You. Relish it. TC mark

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