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Only take the actions below if it is safe to do so. You are the best judge of whether making any changes might lead to further harm. In an emergency, call 999.

Wellbeing tips from survivors  

Being abused can have a major effect on your mental health and wellbeing. It can be exhausting and draining to deal with the abuse and its effects, as well as find the right support.  

It can be very difficult to find time for yourself and the things that you enjoy. The abuser may even isolate you from loved ones and restrict your leisure activities.    

SEA has a Survivors’ Forum where women can connect and share experiences. It is a safe, non-judgemental space with discussion on a variety of topics related to economic abuse. There are several threads related to wellbeing, including:

  • ‘My first step to happiness’ 
  • ‘Being happy after economic abuse’  
  • ‘Living with trauma – what are your tips, strategies for dealing with triggers and difficult days?’ 

Many users have said it has supported their wellbeing to speak with others who have had similar experiences. They can share the ways in which they have coped.  

Find out more about the forum and how to join.

Here are some things that victim-survivors using the forum said helped to improve their wellbeing 

“Be compassionate with yourself. It’s OK to cry. Yes it really is.”

Family, friends and pets 

“I remind myself how much better things are for the children. That gives me strength.”  

“Having an animal really helped me – especially on the days that I didn’t have my children.”  

Physical activity  

“Physical exercise helps. Going to as many classes at the gym as I can.”  

“I started TRE (trauma release exercises) and that really helped. And the gym – it makes me feel like I have accomplished something.”  

“For something fast that doesn’t cost money, I go for a walk.”  

“I find house cleaning therapeutic. It’s as if I am cleaning my life and my thoughts.”  

Talking with others 

“What has helped me to recover the most? Talking and sharing with others who have been through similar.”  

“I use a support system – a trusted friend, counsellor, GP – who can be there for me if I need them.” 

“Browsing the support forums helps me to understand how many women are affected by this and how similar the tactics are. It helps to hear from women who got their lives back.”  


“I keep a journal, which may not be safe for everyone to do. I find writing things down can help.”  

“I’m part of two writing groups. It helps me process what’s happened to me.” 

Mindfulness and meditation 

“I try to remind myself that it will pass and to keep busy. I have created a beautiful safe space in my mind where I retreat to if I need to if I need to calm down.”  

“I play guided meditation on YouTube or just start taking really long, deep breaths.” 

“If things become overwhelming and I’m overcome by anxiety, I dip my face into a bowl of cold water. It slows my heart rate and calms the anxiety.”   

“I use grounding skills to overcome anxiety. I count objects I see and use touch as a grounding technique.”  

Positive affirmations 

“I give myself a hug and tell myself how well I’m doing.” 

“I have to remind myself that, even though it feels awful now, it will be OK.”  

“I remind myself over and over, saying out loud that I am safe.”  

“I imagine how I would speak to a friend or family member going through what I’m going through.”

Music and entertainment  

“I listen to a podcast or uplifting music, or watch a fun tv show. It’s the little things sometimes.” 

Information and support  

We have information on organisations that can support your mental health and wellbeing.   

Last updated May 2023

Further support