Happy New Year to Survivors Everywhere!

By Karen Robinson

Heal Thrive Dream 

Choosing to thrive despite your history of trauma and abuse

So, what are you deciding to do this year? I decided not to set new year’s resolutions since the success stats aren’t so great. This doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about how to be a better version of myself and how to help my client’s to be better versions of themselves. Instead of thinking of January 1st as the only day you can start anew, how about thinking of each day as a fresh new start? A new chance to do right for yourself and for those you love?

Today, I spent time listening to a “best life guru” Brian Johnson who is the founder of the Heroic app. His coaching materials are filled with so much goodness, I plan to keep returning. He’s a philosopher and an action taker. Perfect combo! I love how some of his teachings mirror my own. I teach working on four core areas every day. Especially while grieving and need the basics in order to function and recover in a healthy way. Heroic adds a another element called focus. I will share more about the core areas below that are considered “fundamentals.” Fundamentals help us work on solid foundation.


I used to recommend cycles of 5-6 deep breaths as most clients typically take 1-2 and then stop. The newest research recommends cycles of 9-10 deep breaths. This blew me away! However, I’m convinced and hope you will be too that learning to take deep restorative breaths to restore the parasympathetic nervous system. Our organs crave the additional blood flow that happens as a result of taking full belly breaths. Yogis and Heroes recommend doing both inhales and exhales through your nostrils. I’m conflicted as I like the approach of exhaling through the mouth and pretending to slowly blow through a straw. This might be because I am a mouth breather… sinus issues. Do you have thoughts on the best approach? If so, please leave them in the comments below.


We need more sleep and not less as we age. Aim to get 8-9 hours of sleep each night. Working on an evening routine where you start winding down earlier with eating, drinking, turning off electronics is suggested. I also started to wear a sleep mask to shut out the little pinpricks of light in my room from the smoke detector, television, and other plug-ins. Consider essential oils for to soothe you, a warm bath, to bring your body temperature down, and turn down the lights while walking softly around your home before bedtime. Throw in meditation or another round of deep breathing, you should be out! Another tip is to count backwards from 1000. I haven’t met anyone yet that has made it all the way down to zero! If you try this and make it to zero, please let me know.


I know I have been thoroughly confused many diets when trying to follow various nutrition plans. Keep it simple. Don’t drink your sugar, eat organic, and add more greens into your diet. Eating less processed food and staying away from all types of sugar will go along way to correcting poor health choices. Give up being perfect. Shoot for 80-90%. Focus on making a better choice at your next meal. I know many of us survivors emotionally eat or have some sort of disordered eating. Reach out for help, attend a support group. Follow a nutrition plan that feels balanced and not too restrictive.


My husband hired a personal trainer for me, Julie and she is awesome! We meet two mornings a week on Facetime. She took a thorough health history and I share every ache and pain with her. She knows I’m menopausal, injured my back, that I hold tension in my body like a vice grip, etc. She has helped me make my back stronger and is correcting my posture as well as strengthening my core. We have been working together for the past three months. There is a great deal of room for improvement. I have allowed myself to be derailed when sick or super stressed. For 2023, I want to work on being antifragile and to push myself even when I don’t feel like it. I joined 99 Walks this past week and committed to 99 miles in 99 days for my first challenge. I know I feel best when I move more. What about you?


I believe I focused more effectively before my I-phone, excessive internet use, and Netflix streaming. I seem to have waves of high focus time and other times where I dissociate with endless scrolling. In order for us to be our best selves, we need to disconnect from social media, video games, tv, and online shopping. Consider intentional conversations. Over the past week, I have intentionally spent more time catching up with friends or family. I need to work on cleaning out my email box to zero (huge project for me) and I started with unsubscribing from many email marketers. I suffer from shiny object syndrome and the best way to beat it is too not allowed so many shiny objects to hit my inbox. Consider using a timer when working on a task. A solid meditation practice is research proven to help with focus.

Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, childhood abuse, and other traumas have our work cut out for us. It is easy for us to feel triggered, overwhelmed, or like an imposter in our own lives. It would be easy for you to allow your suffering be or become an obstacle to living your best life. Please don’t let that happen. We offer coaching programs including a group membership that works on accountability, foundations, and dream building. Please consider coming on board. We would love to have you.

2023 Weekly & Monthly Planner

Perfect way to keep things organized! The Weekly & Monthly planner features a 24 Months Calendar with a list of holidays, One month per page spread with blocks to write notes. Contains Multiple pages of contact list, Notes, yearly goals, to-do list, weekly planner, Income tracker, monthly budget, Monthly Evaluation, and habit tracker.

2023 Weekly & Monthly Planner
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Karen Robinson

  Karen Robinson  

About the Author

I'm licensed therapist with 25 years of clinical experience. Service driven, specializing in trauma recovery, anxiety, and depression, holistic care, and transformation to create an impact for trauma survivors globally. Services include coaching, therapy, virtual courses, digital products, and on-line memberships.

Are you a survivor in need of HOPE?