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Navigating Productivity After Trauma: A Compassionate Guide



As you wake up, you're greeted by the glaring screen of your phone, a portal to the world of responsibilities and expectations. The familiar routine of checking emails and social media washes over you, accompanied by a sinking feeling in your stomach. The weight of the day's tasks looms large, and you can't help but wonder how you'll accomplish everything in the next eight hours.


Overwhelmed by Expectations


The sheer volume of tasks ahead can feel suffocating. Balancing work, social obligations, and personal responsibilities seems impossible, leaving you overwhelmed and anxious.

It's easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others who seem to navigate adulthood effortlessly. Yet, the reality is that everyone's journey is different, and what works for others may not work for you—especially if you've experienced trauma.

Trauma can reshape how we perceive and interact with the world. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can alter our brain's functioning, making everyday tasks feel like insurmountable challenges.


Understanding Trauma's Effects

PTSD can make the simplest tasks feel like threats to our survival. Subtle reminders of past trauma can trigger intense emotional and physiological responses, leaving us in a constant state of hypervigilance.

Memory lapses and difficulty concentrating are common symptoms of PTSD. This can make it challenging to stay focused on tasks and remember what we were doing, leading to frustration and self-blame.

Feelings of guilt and self-blame often accompany PTSD. We may blame ourselves for past events and feel inadequate for struggling with daily responsibilities.


Embracing Self-Compassion


It's important to redefine productivity in light of our traumatic experiences. Instead of striving for perfection, let's prioritize self-compassion. Acknowledge that it's okay to have limitations and that self-care is crucial to productivity.

Productivity is about more than checking off every item on a never-ending to-do list. It's about accomplishing what is necessary without sacrificing our well-being. Set realistic goals that align with your current capacity, and don't be afraid to ask for help when needed.

Every step forward, no matter how small, is a victory worth celebrating. Whether it's getting out of bed or reaching out to a friend, acknowledge the progress you've made and be proud of yourself for it.


Embracing Change

Navigating productivity after trauma is a journey, not a destination. Be patient with yourself and embrace the process of growth and healing. Remember, you're not alone, and seeking support along the way is okay. Our trained trauma therapists are here to help if you are feeling stuck.


What does productivity mean to you? Whose standards are you trying to meet, and why? Consider how PTSD may be influencing your perception of productivity.

By redefining productivity through a lens of self-compassion and understanding, we pave the way for a more sustainable and fulfilling approach to life after trauma. You deserve a life where accomplishments are measured not just by tasks completed but by the strength and resilience you embody every day.


Please know that if you are suffering right now, there is help. At the London Centre for Trauma Therapy, we treat folks living with trauma and help them recover every day through trauma therapy. We see clients in-person in our counselling office in London, Ontario, and virtually across Ontario.

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