How to Handle Holiday Time After Trauma

healing from trauma Dec 11, 2023

Unfortunately, holiday time isn't enjoyable for everyone. Most people expect you to be happy because it’s the holiday season, but it’s difficult to force a smile when you feel like you’re dying inside. It’s difficult to be in a room with people who don’t understand what it’s like to have your life marred by trauma. It’s difficult to be in a room with people who have hurt you or didn’t protect you from getting hurt. In this video, I discuss what I’ve done to handle holiday time. 

If you're looking for answers to other common questions after healing from trauma I encourage you to read my book, Moving Forward: Life After Trauma. The paperback and ebook can be found on Amazon:

You can also sign up to read the Introduction and Chapter 1 for free on my website:

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Transformation After Workplace Trauma - Part 2

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2023

Below is Part 2 of the two-part series I was a part of on the Nursing Uncharted podcast. We continued focusing on concepts in my first book, Transformation After Trauma: Embracing Post-Traumatic Growth, and ways they can be implemented in one's life.

In this episode we discussed the importance of exercise in trauma recovery and stress reduction. We discussed ways exercise can be incorporated into your work. I explained the importance of doing activities that oppose the movements you do the most each day. For example, if you're standing or walking during most of the day, you're continually contracting (shortening) your calf muscles. So, it's important to regularly oppose that movement by stretching in the opposite direction, in this case, bringing your toes toward your shin at different points during the day.

We also talked about doing activities like creative expression outside of work that oppose your experiences at work. It's possible to engage in activities that are life-giving...

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Transformation After Workplace Trauma - Part 1

Uncategorized Nov 12, 2023

I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to teach so many nursing students during my years as an anatomy and physiology professor. I'm also grateful to now be able to help practicing nurses with handling the stress they experience from their careers. I felt honored to be asked to be on the Nursing Uncharted podcast to speak about ways nurses can handle stress and workplace trauma.

Below is a Part 1 of our two-part series. Even if you're not a nurse or healthcare professional, I believe you will be able to apply the tools we discussed in your own life. We focused on concepts from my first book, Transformation After Trauma: Embracing Post-Traumatic Growth, and ways they can be implemented in one's life.

You can also watch the interview on YouTube or listen to it on Audible, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other major podcast platform. The title of this episode is "Ep. 51 - Transformation After Workplace Trauma (Part 1) with Stephanie M. Hutchins, Ph.D."

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Overcoming Depression: What the Mountains Have Taught Me

healing from trauma Dec 06, 2022

Some events in my life have caused my PTSD symptoms to come back with a vengeance. The anxiety, hypervigilance, and hyperarousal are exhausting and have now led into a severe depression.

In this video, I discuss a pattern that has helped me get through bouts of depression, as well as difficult hikes: 1. forcing myself to take specific actions before I rest, 2. allowing myself to rest briefly, and 3. keep going after I've rested. This always reminds me how strong and courageous I am and fills me with pride for never being willing to give up even when I want to.

Being in the mountains always reminds me that what goes up, must come down. That means even though my symptoms and unhealthy coping strategies have escalated, they will eventually subside. If you're currently struggling, or for when you are struggling, I hope this video serves as a reminder that the difficult period will end.

Goal setting has been, and continues to be, so important in my trauma healing journey. That's why I...

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Learn to Love Yourself and to Be Loved by Others

healing from trauma Nov 12, 2022

After years of being made to feel that I was worthless and my sole purpose on earth was to please men, it's no wonder that some of my core beliefs are that I'm unlovable and undeserving of good things. It's taken me a long time to work through these beliefs and there's still more work that needs to be done. In this video, I discuss how important other people have been in this portion of my healing journey. But that required me letting good people into my life and not pushing them away.

Most of my traumas involved being hurt by other people, so it's no wonder that I responded by not allowing people to get too close to me for most of my life. It's only been in recent years that I've allowed people to get close to me. It hasn't been until recently that I've found that people can love me without me having sex with them, and even with my jagged edges from years of trauma.

In this video, I discuss a particularly important friendship that has been critical in my healing journey. I hope it...

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Coping With PTSD Symptoms

healing from trauma Oct 29, 2022

This video was difficult for me. I knew I would need to hold back tears and I knew it would require an immense amount of vulnerability for me to open up about things that cause me to feel shame.

In this video, I discuss my struggles over the past few months with my PTSD symptoms flaring up and my difficulty coping. I wish trauma healing followed a linear path, but that's not how it, or life, works. Everything in life has ups and downs.

If you're currently in a similar situation, I hope this video lets you know that you're not alone and gives you ideas for how to get through this difficult period. As I keep reminding myself, just keep holding on until this period of turbulence ends because it will. Spring always follows winter and day always follows night.

I continue to practice a variety of tools to get me through this rough patch. I detailed most of them in my book, Transformation After Trauma: Embracing Post-Traumatic Growth. Sign up here to begin reading the Introduction and...

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How to Stop Promiscuity: Healing After Sexual Violence

healing from trauma Oct 17, 2022

Promiscuity is common among victims of sexual violence. In this video, I discuss how I broke this habit, in case it'll give you ideas on how to break the habit if you're also struggling with this same issue.

Victims of sexual violence often struggle with low self-esteem, self-hatred, and shame. I know these feelings well and detail the tools I used to work through them in my book, Transformation After Trauma: Embracing Post-Traumatic Growth. Sign up here to begin reading the Introduction and Chapter 1 for free:

If you want to read or listen to the full book, you can find the ebook, audiobook, and paperback on Amazon:

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Find Joy in Every Day: Happiness Is a Choice

healing from trauma Oct 04, 2022

One of my clients recently asked me how to find joy in little things, and in people and processes she doesn't particularly like. I had to spend time reflecting on why I'm so joyous and how I'm able to find joy in the smallest things. What I determined is that feeling joy is a choice I've made. I never wanted my abusers and the numerous disgusting people in this world to steal my joy from me. I considered practicing joy and being happy when others tried to steal it from me as an act of defiance and made me feel like I was winning the battle.

What I realized is that finding joy requires practice and when practiced often it becomes a habit and doesn't require much thought. But if not practiced for a period, the habit can be broken. In my mid-twenties I experienced a particularly severe bout of depression. I can easily say that happened not just because of the circumstances in my life but because of what I was focusing on. I stopped focusing on the beauty in every moment and when that...

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Is Your Brain Stopping You From Doing Less Than Youโ€™re Capable Of?

Uncategorized Sep 17, 2022

Humans are the only creatures on Earth that will do less than they're capable of doing. Organisms like trees don't have a brain, so they operate based on directions from their genes and surroundings. Most animals don't have a brain large enough to allow them to do anything other than operate on instinct. But humans on the other hand, with our large and beautifully complex brains, can override our natural instincts by the stories we tell ourselves.

In this video, I discuss our potential for resilience. We have two choices when we experience trauma, to curl up in a ball and wait for death or to figure out a way to move forward with the life we still have. The difficulty that some people have is that their negative self-talk and limiting beliefs cause them to think that they don't have options and their suffering will only end in death.

I hope this video will cause you to reflect on how your negative self-talk and limiting beliefs may be hindering you. I also hope it causes you to...

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How Will You Handle Obstacles in Your Path?

goal setting Sep 03, 2022

The process of setting goals and taking action toward those goals requires vulnerability, patience, persistence, and determination. Life will always throw obstacles in your path, that's just the kind of world we live in.

In this video, I discuss how the recent bushwhack (hiking without a trail) I did provided me with a lot of good reminders and opportunities for reflection on the obstacles I'm going to continue to face on the way to reaching my goals. It also provided me a reminder of the feelings I'm going to face on the way to reaching my goals like vulnerability, fear, and that I'm all alone on my journey.

I'm hopeful this video will give you something to think about when you reach an obstacle. Will you turn back, stay where you are, or will you find a way to maneuver around the obstacle?

If you have a goal you want to reach, but you're having difficulty in reaching it, I'd love to help you devise a plan to overcome your greatest obstacle in a 2-hour strategy session: ...

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