Emma did her first podcast today, and read through some of her journals from this week. One thing it really brought up was how much she is struggling with nightmares and flashbacks. We needed some serious self care after doing that podcast, so she set herself up in our favorite chair with some hot chocolate, some journals, some essential oils diffusing, and some favorite books. It’s called “grounding”!
Grounding techniques often use the five senses - sound, touch, smell, taste, and sight - to immediately connect you with the here and now. For example, singing a song, rubbing lotion on your hands, or sucking on some sour candy are all grounding techniques that produce sensations that are difficult to ignore or distract you from what's going on in your mind. This helps you directly and instantaneously connect with the present moment.
Here are some ideas!
Turn up the radio or blast your favorite song.
Talk out loud about what you see, hear, or what you're thinking or doing.
Call a loved one.
Put on some nature sounds such as birds chirping or waves crashing.
Read out loud, whether it's a favorite children's book, a blog article, or the latest novel.
Hold an ice cube and let it melt in your hand.
Put your hands under running water.
Take a hot or cool shower.
Grab an article of clothing, a blanket, or a towel and knead it in your hands or hold it to your cheek.
Concentrate on what it feels like.
Rub your hand lightly over the carpet or a piece of furniture, noting the texture.
Pop some bubble wrap.
Massage your temples.
If you have a dog or cat, cuddle and pet him or her.
Drink a hot or cold beverage.
Sniff strong peppermint, which also has the benefit of having a soothing effect.
Light a scented candle or melt scented wax.
Get some essential oils that remind you of good times (freshly cut grass, rain, clean laundry, or sugar cookies, for example) and smell one.
Bite into a lemon or lime.
Suck on a mint or chew peppermint or cinnamon gum.
Take a bite of a pepper or some hot salsa.
Let a piece of chocolate melt in your mouth, noticing how it tastes and feels as you roll it around with your tongue.
Take a mental inventory of everything around you, such as all the colors and patterns you see, the sounds you hear, and the scents you smell.
Saying this out loud is helpful too.
Count all the pieces of furniture around you.
Put on your favorite movie or TV show.
Play a distracting game on your tablet, computer, or smartphone.
Complete a crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search, or other puzzle.
Read a book or magazine.