Helpful resources for Refugees and people seeking safety

After arriving in the UK it’s not uncommon for refugees to experience extreme emotions and unusual bodily sensations.  You may feel overwhelmed or confused at times and find you find yourself feeling or behaving differently to normal.

The 6 videos on this page will help you make sense of some of these things.  Click on the language button under the video to watch them in either English, Farsi or Arabic.

Click on the links below or to the right to find other videos which will help you find practical ways to feel better about some of the things that you might be finding difficult at the moment.”

Following on from these videos are some exercises which are designed to help manage the effects of stress and trauma. When we are able to calm our mind and bodies down, we can feel more comfortable, manage our feelings better, think more clearly and take the steps we need to shape our lives in the direction we want to go.

Stress and traumatic events can cause changes in our bodies so that we may have headaches, breathlessness, chronic or acute pain, heart palpitations, muscle tension or other strange sensations. It can makes us feel upset, sad, frightened, terrified, or lost and confused. When overwhelmed, we may not be able to think straight, concentrate or remember what we want to do. It might even make us lose time and not remember what we have done. Our thinking can become so closed down that we can’t think creatively to find new solutions to our problems, leading to more frustration. Our exercises are based on what people have told us they have found helpful and we hope that you will also find them useful.

It may be helpful to listen to the exercises first watch the actions. Then practice, which you may need to do several times to feel the benefit, so stick with it and give it some time.

We suggest that you begin with the Breathing exercises first if you are able to relax your whole body. It is also the basis of many of our other exercises so we encourage you to practice every day to calm your nervous system down.

If breathing is uncomfortable, then leave it and try some other exercises. The Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a very popular method to relax by tensing and relaxing the different muscle groups in your body.

If the muscle tensing causes any pain, do it gently or you can try the Body Scan and Light Stream Technique, which involves listening to the voice and then concentrating your attention on different parts of your body, by noticing any sensations and using your imagination to bring peace to your body.

The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a tapping technique that can be used to calm yourself, deal painful body sensations, difficult feelings or disturbing thoughts. Butterfly tapping can also help to comfort yourself and bring more peace of mind.

The Five Senses and flashback grounding technique is especially helpful for dealing with flashbacks, disorientation and bringing your self back to the present and reminding yourself that you are safe.

The Guided Imagery exercises can be used to calm yourself, to develop a calm or safe place in your mind to go to when disturbed, to help you sleep better or to practice the things you want to do in your mind that you want to become more confident at.

Lastly, many people struggle with sleep, so we encourage you to listen to the session on sleep and try the adapted Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) with breathing technique get to sleep or to return to sleep when awaking in the middle of the night.

We hope you will begin to feel and function better and look forward to hearing from you if you would like to give us feedback.

Anne Burghgraef, Solace Clinical Director