Life can be really challenging at times. None of us get to experience just the good or the bad. Whether it’s dealing with the loss of a loved one, supporting family or friends through mental or other major health challenges, or even going through a bad breakup, trauma and grief can impact us, mentally and physically. The saying “when it rains, it pours” may also apply when it seems like a bunch of these stressors are piling up at once. If this is you, is it hard to imagine coping? Do you have the right supports and tools in place?

If you’ve been through trauma or are grieving, I see you. I’ve lived through a lot of traumas the last few years, and am still grieving and living parts of it. It can be hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel and not feel overwhelmed or resentful, but with a lot of deep healing work, I also believe that every single one of us can live a self-empowered, flourishing, fully alive life, and that life is too precious to let only trauma define us.

I believe now more than ever; people need tools to flourish amidst traumas, including ways to self-regulate and re-energize ourselves. The following highlights some of these mind-body-environment-community focused tools for reducing stress, self-regulating the nervous system, embodied practices for releasing trauma stored in the body, and resources for reframing or coping:


  • Embrace your authentic self – It’s critical when dealing with external stressors to know your own meaning and purpose, values, passions, strengths and intuition so you can show up in a way you can live with, improve resilience, and stay motivated. 
  • Become hyper self-aware – Stress and trauma can trigger toxic thoughts and habits, and limiting beliefs and patterns. It’s important to take notice without judgment, understand when you might need to take more space for yourself or choose healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Develop emotional regulation strategies – Many emotions can arise from trauma – anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety, guilt and helplessness to name a few. Embracing uncertainty and self-compassion are important, along with ways to release negative emotions such as journaling, expressive arts or breathing exercises.
  • Learn about the nervous system and mind-body connection – Knowledge equals personal empowerment, so it’s helpful to understand how trauma and long-term stress disrupt the nervous system, how to promote parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) activation, how thoughts and emotions can impact the body and how physical well-being, driven by diet, sleep and exercise, can help you flourish.


  • Move your body daily – Consistent physical exercise, even daily walks, play a huge role in self-regulation by releasing endorphins which boost mood, reduce anxiety, enhance brain function and release stored tension.
  • Prioritize nutrient dense foods and hydration – Diet plays a critical role in self-regulation and stress reduction. Increase nutrient-rich meals including good fats, lean proteins, fruits and veggies, while decreasing caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and simple carbs.
  • Introduce body-based interventions – Mindfulness practices improve awareness on where emotions get stored in body, deep breathing promotes calming and relaxation, and grounding exercises can promote stability and tranquility. 


  • Spend more time outside – Time in nature reduces stress and stress hormone levels, and is grounding, promoting relaxation. Natural light and nature’s natural rhythms can help regulate our own internal rhythms, such as hormone production and sleep-wake cycles.
  • Declutter and add natural elements inside – Decluttering home and office spaces and adding natural elements (e.g. plants, softer lighting, soothing colours, calming scents) reduces sensory overload, can be grounding and can help you feel calmer.
  • Minimize exposures – Other ways of reducing stress and increasing capacity for self-regulation include digital detoxes, media consumption boundaries, less harsh lighting, less time with toxic people or toxic environments, and less environmental chemical exposure.


  • Prioritize healthy, supportive connections – Healthy connections provide a safe place to express feelings and receive emotional validation, increasing ability for processing emotions, creating healthy coping tools and building resilience.
  • Set non-negotiable boundaries – It is critical to protect our own energy, especially from the ‘energy vampires’ in our lives. This means following your instincts, saying no when you need to and/or prioritizing healthier connections or tools.
  • Create a support network – A network is crucial for processing complex emotions and trauma. This can include close relationships, activity-friends, colleagues and other communities that offer support and empathy. Professional help such as psychologists, support groups and somatic practitioners also provide a more structured space for healing. 

In the face of ongoing grief, trauma or other stressors, the ability to self-regulate our nervous system and re-energize ourselves, offers a path for creating resilience, personal empowerment and personal growth. Through an understanding of the nervous system and mind-body connection, combined with self-care, self-regulation and re-energizing tools and techniques, we all have the innate capacity to heal from trauma, to find peace with life how it is, rather than how we think it should be, and to go from surviving to flourishing. If you’re looking for additional tools and a supportive community, please consider our Thriving Coaching Programsor feel free to reach out to find out more.


About the Author

Allison is a former professional engineer and management consultant turned integrated wellness consultant and transformation coach. She has a Masters in Sustainability and spent over a decade solving complex business problems for high impact energy companies while mentoring young women in a male dominated industry, before transitioning to the wellness space. Through her own mental health journey including multiple concussions and burnout, she developed many holistic tools and a voice as a mental health advocate.

She has levelled up her mental wellness toolkit by becoming a Functional Nutrition Counsellor, Metabolic Balance Coach and Flourishing Leadership and Workplace Coach. Her new company, Evolving Equilibrium, set to launch early this year, will coach high achieving women heal their lives and reclaim their magic, through an evidence-based, mind-body-environmental approach to health and wellbeing.

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