TRIGGER WARNING: Today’s episode discusses child loss. Please be advised.
Trauma happens to all of us. Sometimes, things get really really hard. This is the time where we may turn our focus from self-care to survival. That feels logical, right?
Today’s guest, Sonja Prince shares her story and how focusing on self-care helped her survive. Sonja is a macro coach, health coach, and the Director of The Kwesi Prince Foundation.
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Self-Care During Trauma with Sonja Prince – Season 2 Episode 5
Trauma happens to all of us. Sometimes, things get really really hard. This is the time where we may turn our focus from self-care to survival. That feels logical, right? Today’s guest, Sonja Prince shares her story and how focusing on self-care helped her survive. Sonja is a macro coach, health coach, and the Director of The Kwesi Prince Foundation.
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- What is your definition of self care?
- My definition is doing things that help you get through, because I often relate self care with my journey now. It’s still a journey for me, but doing those things to take care of yourself, to help you get through certain things. Self care can also be those things that help you feel good.
- So, let’s talk about your story.
- In 2010, my son was seven years old. We were living life as normal as most people, but he started having these strange headaches. We got an MRI, and I was so glad that he did because we found out that my son had a malignant brain tumor called pinealoblastoma. It was a journey for a little over four years, and in 2014 he did pass away at the age of 11.
- Can you tell me about your personal journey through this? Can you talk about the progression of these stages of grief, both during treatment and after he had passed?
- I felt like self care, you have to do it to be able to get through something like that and I found that was the only way I would be able to keep my sanity, like I had to find something to keep me grounded.
- I started doing very small things. I would get up before anybody and it would still be dark outside sometimes and I would go for a walk and I would just listen, to nothing or to the birds. And it was something that just kept me grounded. I was already familiar with meditation, so I kind of immersed myself in certain things like walking like just let me have a couple minutes because my days were very hectic and I had to find something because I’m a person that needs my me time. I just had to find little small things to help me stay centered and grounded as we went through that journey.
- I assume that you probably spent a lot more time in the hospital setting than you would ever want to for different appointments or specialists, so how were you able to make eating well a priority?
- Well luckily by nature, I am a very organized person. He actually had to go to the hospital every 20, every 28 days, for treatment. And so I would pack all of our food.
- I think I ate the best that I ever did when my son was sick because, like I said, taking care of me. It’s like you have got to be in tip top shape for this. And so, I did. That’s how I got through it with him and my self-care practices.
- Were there any other self care techniques that you felt were really important or really played a big role in helping you get through it?
- Like I said, I feel like self care is anything that helps you get through. I found that even though I gave a lot of time to my son, I spent a lot of time helping other people. Even then, that’s kind of how I knew we would start a foundation. That was something that was very helpful for me. I would go to support group meetings. We had support group meetings at our hospital and I found myself being a mentor to other parents or befriending parents in the hospital who were going through the same journey, that was also very helpful.
- When you have that wave of grief that passes over you, do you come back to any of these self care practices? How do you use self care to manage those waves of grief?
- Today I went to the gym. I went to the gym over the weekend. Sometimes that helps. I’ve been meditating, and sometimes you just have to write it out. You just sit in your feelings and give yourself permission to sit in those feelings. If you have someone that you can talk to who will just listen to whatever you say. Sometimes that’s helpful. I think that’s one of the biggest things that’s helped, but sometimes it’s just time.
- Do you have any other advice for somebody who’s listening who maybe feels like they could never pull themselves from grief?
- I honestly would say: try therapy. Because you have to. You can’t help yourself if you can’t get out of it.
- Can you let people know where they would find you or contact you?
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