Dr. Henderson, as an advocate and survivor, can you share how the journey of self-care helped in overcoming the traumatic experience of domestic violence?
First and foremost, it's essential to acknowledge that healing from domestic violence is a complex and ongoing process. It's not something that happens overnight, and it often involves both emotional and physical scars. Here's how self-care became a cornerstone in my journey to recovery:
On Seeking Professional Help: One of the first and most important steps I took was seeking the help of a therapist who specialized in trauma and domestic violence. Talking to a professional provided me with a safe space to process my feelings, gain insights into the dynamics of abuse, and develop coping strategies.
About Setting Boundaries: Learning to set boundaries was crucial in rebuilding my sense of self-worth and regaining control over my life. This involved not only setting boundaries with the abuser but also with friends and family who might not have understood the depth of my trauma.
On Self-Compassion: Domestic violence often leaves survivors with feelings of guilt and shame. Self-compassion was a vital aspect of my self-care routine. I had to learn to be kind to myself, to remind myself that I deserved love and respect, and that I wasn't to blame for the abuse.
About Physical Self-Care: Taking care of my physical health became an integral part of my healing journey. This included regular exercise, eating nutritious meals, and getting enough sleep. Physical self-care helped me rebuild my strength and energy, both of which were depleted during the abusive relationship.
"I had to learn to be kind to myself, to remind myself that I deserved love and respect, and that I wasn't to blame for the abuse."
On Emotional Self-Care: Domestic violence takes a toll on one's emotional well-being. I found solace in activities that brought me joy, whether it was spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or engaging in mindfulness and relaxation exercises. Journaling was also a helpful way to express my emotions and track my progress.
About Having a Support Network: Building a strong support network was crucial. I reached out to friends and family members who were understanding and willing to provide emotional support. Support groups for survivors of domestic violence also played a significant role in helping me connect with others who had similar experiences.
Advocacy is centered at the heart of every Philanthropist.
Echoing that notion at its finest is the diversified professional, Dr. Yolanda Henderson. Dr. Yolanda Henderson is an international, best-selling author, speaker, business guru, and CEO and founder of YJ Empowerment Solutions, LLC, a multidisciplinary advocacy program created to help clients push beyond their past traumas and elevate to the next level, both personally and professionally. Affectionately known as the “Empowerment Advocate,” Dr. Henderson is reputed for her innate ability to exhort multi-generational audiences through her powerful and relatable messages as she passionately advocates for truth, healing, resiliency, and personal growth. Adding to her philanthropic capacity, Dr. Yolanda Henderson is also a retired Air Force veteran and the director of women’s ministry at EPIC Fellowship Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. As a highly respected member of both the local and national communities, Yolanda has been featured and headlined in well-respected publications. One of her most celebrated features was an article she wrote called “The Day I Decided to Leave.” It is a compelling survivor’s testament so impressive, it was chosen by highly esteemed, serial producer and screen writer, Shonda Rhimes, to be displayed in her online storytelling periodical column, “Shondaland” in 2020. Furthermore, Dr. Henderson is also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. When Dr. Yolanda Henderson is not out advocating for those in need, she is a loving partner, mother, and friend. Website: http://www.iamyolandahenderson.com and www.epicfc.org LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yolandajerry Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yjempowers Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yjempowers