8 Powerful Self-Care Tips for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

8 Powerful Self-Care Tips for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

“Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.” ~Katrina Mayer

When you are in the grip of narcissistic abuse, it can be hard to think about your own needs. You may be so preoccupied with what is happening to you that you feel numb, or so angry that you feel like an emotional volcano about to explode. Either way, it can be hard to take care of yourself.

Is Self-Care Selfish?

No matter what the toxic people in your life would have you believe, self-care is not selfish. It is essential in order to maintain your physical and emotional health. And this is even more important for people who have survived narcissistic abuse because, for many of us, our whole lives have been about making other people happy. It’s time to focus on yourself, possibly for the first time in your life.

Have you survived narcissistic abuse?

If you have been in a relationship with a narcissist, you know how frustrating and exhausting it is to repeatedly deal with their crazy-making and mind games. When they aren’t treating you like your feelings don’t matter, they are making you feel crazy for having feelings in the first place! It can be that hard to be in a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), but you probably already know that it is possible to leave such relationships when you learn how to recognize the signs of narcissistic abuse and how to set boundaries.

What you might not realize though is that self-care is a vital part of healing from narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship. If a partner or ex-partner has been abusive toward you, you might have experienced a lot of trauma. It can be hard to get out of bed in the morning, and even to take care of yourself and your needs when you’re in the depths of recovery.

Why is self-care important in narcissistic abuse recovery?

Everyone heals on their own time frame, but by practicing some self-care tips for narcissistic abuse survivors you can improve your quality of life and begin the process of healing from narcissistic abuse. But without proper guidance, healing from narcissistic abuse can be long and arduous.

It’s very common for adult children of narcissistic parents (ACONs) to suffer from Complex PTSD. Worse, many ACONs also end up getting into romantic relationships with narcissists and other toxic people – it feels normal to them. That’s why, without proper support, it is so easy to fall back into old patterns.

Did you lose yourself to narcissistic abuse?

Narcissistic abuse is a particularly vicious form of psychological abuse. It is important to recognize that narcissistic abuse takes a toll on your mind and body.  After experiencing an abusive relationship, it is normal to feel like you have lost yourself. You may also feel like you don’t know how to take care of yourself anymore. These feelings are often due to the way you were treated in your past relationships and can develop into a very unhealthy pattern if not addressed. After abuse, your whole sense of self needs to be rebuilt and nurtured.

Self-Care Tips for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

Self-care is important for all of us, but especially for those in the healing process following narcissistic abuse. You can use these self-care tips as tools to help you heal and recover from the effects of narcissistic abuse and re-establish a sense of inner peace within yourself. Even if you have not left your abuser yet, self-care can help protect your mental health while you decide to leave or work on other aspects of your life that are related to the abuse.

Here are some self-care tips for narcissistic abuse survivors:

1. Remember You Are a Whole Person.

It may sound silly, but if you are still reeling from the abuse of a narcissist, it can be difficult to remember that you’re still a whole, multifaceted person. Narcissistic abuse survivors often find themselves existing in a fog of confusion and pain, and being told repeatedly that they are “crazy” or “imagining things.” It can be hard to muster the motivation or energy for self-care when you feel so beaten down. If you’ve been abused by a narcissist, it’s important to know that what you’re experiencing isn’t your fault. Narcissists are experts at gaslighting their victims into believing that they have no right to their own feelings or opinions. You have every right to grieve the loss of these relationships and experiences, and to take time to work through your feelings. You also have a right to care for yourself in whatever way is best for you. This video explains exactly what happens to you during narcissistic abuse and why you stop feeling like a whole person – this is exactly why it’s so important to take care of yourself now.

2. Assess Your Needs and Make a Self-Care Plan.

Maybe the most important step in self-care after narcissistic abuse is knowing what you need in order to feel cared for and nurtured. You’ve been through the hell of emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of a narcissist. You might just need to start by taking a bit of time for yourself. You can practice setting boundaries. Take a week or a weekend and just turn off the phones, close the door, and relax. If possible, use this time to disengage from the narcissist.  Breathe deeply. Meditate. Stretch out any kinks or tension in your body. Do something creative or spiritual.  Then sit down and write down your self-care plan. Note: Make sure you pencil in time to get enough sleep and relaxation. You can’t think straight or make good decisions when you’re stressed and exhausted. Watch this if you need to remember how important self-care is for survivors of narcissistic abuse!

3. Don’t Discount the Value of Positive Affirmations.

When it comes to reprogramming your mind after narcissistic abuse, you have to take advantage of the power of affirmations. You may think affirmations are lies you are telling yourself in the beginning. But even if that is the case, keep at it! Eventually, your mind will be reprogrammed and your truth can change to one that’s far more desirable. This video offers one simple way you can get in your affirmations while you sleep! Save it to your bookmarks so you can use it anytime you need.

4. Find A Constructive Physical Outlet To Release Negative Emotions.

You, like many narcissistic abuse survivors, may have found a way to cope with the situation in an unhealthy way. For example, you might have started drinking or eating too much to stuff away the pain, anger, and justified rage that you feel on a daily basis. You know those habits are quite destructive – but it feels better than the alternative, right? If this sounds like you, you might consider looking for healthy physical outlets to release those negative emotions. This is why you will want to take up kickboxing, yoga, or dancing such as Zumba classes. Those are great ways to release the painful emotions that you are feeling. Bonus: It also helps you become more physically fit – revenge body, here you come! After all, when you consider how narcissists exploit you, you have to realize that narcissistic abuse recovery is a whole-self healing journey. Get the details on that in this video.

5. Journal Away the Pain.

You’ve spent way too much time worrying about everyone else in your life – and the narcissist has facilitated this by requiring you to make them the center of your world. This means you’ve got a lot of thoughts, feelings, and unspoken words flying around inside you, likely adding to your pain. My suggestion here is to go out and buy a journal or a diary. Or just use a plain notebook if you prefer. Either way, use this to write in every day about how you are feeling, your thoughts, what you have been doing, and any other information that is important to you. The idea is that whatever you put into this journal is just for you. You can tear pages out if they are painful to read later on, or you can keep the book forever as a reminder of how far you have come. Personally, I prefer bullet journaling these days – here’s how I do it.

6. Pay Attention To Your Breathing.

Did you know that if you breathe through your mouth, you are going to feel more anxious?  It’s true! And that will only cause you to think more about the pain you had endured. The best way to stay relaxed is by breathing through your nostrils. In fact, this is something that patients that suffer from insomnia are told to do before they attempt to fall asleep. Breathing through your nostrils will help lower anxiety levels and the more you do it, the more you will rewire your brain into a calmer state. Try the exercises I share here for help.

7. Tap Into Your Creativity

I always say that narcissistic abuse recovery is a great time to start a new project. Maybe you want to redecorate a room in your home, or learn to paint. Perhaps you’d like to write a book or a story. Maybe you’re a songwriter? When you listen to songs like Stronger Than Ever by Christina Aguilera, you know she was inspired by her own healing from abuse. And this is a positive way to deal with pain and trauma. Channeling your pain into creativity is highly therapeutic. Or, if you’re struggling with finding a project because you’re drowning in your own clutter (a common issue for survivors), you might try a decluttering project, as described here.

8. Ask For Help

Possibly the most important step to practicing healthy self-care tips for narcissistic abuse survivors is surrounding yourself with supportive people who understand what you’re going through. I think it’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are millions of people who have experienced the pain that comes with being in an abusive relationship, so don’t feel like your situation is unique or uncommon. If you are struggling, be sure to look into finding a therapist and/or a narcissistic abuse recovery coach who understands what you’re going through. They can give you some helpful tips and since they may have been there themselves, they can empathize in ways no one else can. There’s also the option to join a small Zoom coaching group. If therapy or coaching aren’t within your budget, you can also join a free support narcissistic abuse recovery support group. The more support you have, the better! It MATTERS.

Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery right now.

5 Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Tips for Expedited Healing

5 Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Tips for Expedited Healing

After enduring abuse from a narcissistic partner, you’ll have a long road to recovery. But having the courage to leave an unhealthy relationship with a narcissist (whether it was from a partner or a parent, or anyone else significant) is a big deal – you should pat yourself on the back! That was the hardest thing to do. Believe me, I know.

Still, recovery and healing are possible! Whether you choose a therapist or a coach (or even a free online support group), or you choose to go it alone, these tips will be really helpful for anyone dealing with narcissistic abuse recovery.

1. Block the Narcissist On Social Media

The best thing to do is to block the abuser on social media – this is part of the whole “no contact” thing. Yes, you don’t want them checking up on you and they still could with a fake account. However, you will be tempted to check on them and by doing so, you will only become hurt from the painful reminder of seeing what they are up to. This can easily disrupt your attempts to heal from the pain. This video offers more tips on how to go no contact with a narcissist and what to expect.

2. Educate Yourself About Narcissistic Behavior

The best thing to do when you are healing is to learn about narcissistic behavior. This way you will know that the abuse would have been directed to anyone else in that relationship, and not just you – you aren’t the problem, and you aren’t crazy. However, more than that, having a good understanding of the behavior will give you the power of knowledge and understanding. This video offers a glimpse into some of those narcissistic behaviors and how to deal with them.

3. Remove Those Who Support Your Abuser From Your Life

This is a hard one because it is hard to remove those who you thought were your friends. But they’ve become flying monkeys. The fact of the matter is that through times of difficulty, you will see the true colors of those in your life. And anyone who gives you a hard time for shutting your abuser out needs to go along with them. You need pure support, not those who don’t have your back. This video offers a brief overview of flying monkeys and how you can deal with them.

4. Don’t Ignore The Past

You might want to block the past out and want to start fresh. Yes, you will want to start fresh but not so fast! First, you need to spend time focusing on yourself and your self-care – but also reflecting on the past and letting your emotions flow (so you can release them).  And you need to examine how you got to where you are now from there. You will want to examine how you were able to find the courage to leave. Facing your past and examining it will help your healing process be so much more efficient and effective! So how do you know if you’re healing? Watch this video for a solid understanding of what healing looks like for survivors of narcissistic abuse.

5. Don’t Start New Relationships Right Away

If your ex was the one who is the narcissist who you had broken away from, the last thing you will want to do is start dating again immediately. You need time to heal and examine what you went through along with therapy and/or coaching. Dating again right away will only cause delays in recovery and you could end up sabotaging a relationship that has the potential to be a good one. You’ll intuitively know when the right time is to go back into the dating world. And when you’re ready, be sure you take the time to watch this video, which gives you a sharp overview of what to expect and how to know you’re ready to date again.

Remember that being abused by a narcissist is not your fault. Stay strong during the recovery. Here are some helpful free resources for you.

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