Overwhelmed? Triggered? Here’s how to ground yourself

Reading about inner child work or somatic healing is all good and well, but when your body is stuck in fight or flight it may feel impossible to move on.
Many people struggle with advice such as just going for a walk, meditating or exercising.
I found that these are advanced steps to pursue, once the body feels safe again.
There are however some simple tricks that may allow you to centre yourself when needed.
Remember that some days, just waking up is enough. Although hard, try to be compassionate with all you are dealing with.
Awareness is the first step of changing, so you’re already on the way to healing by just reading this!

  1. Connect to your senses with this countdown
  • 5 things you can see: Your arms, your bed or your carpet
  • 4 things you can feel: The chair underneath you, your shoes, the weight of your shirt
  • 3 things you can hear: Your breath, traffic, or birds
  • 2 things you can smell: Lunch cooking, flowers, your laundry
  • 1 thing you can taste: Your toothpaste, a gum or coffee

    This may look simple, but connecting to your environment and your body with this exercise can distract you from your thoughts. Give it a try!

2. Breath work

“Just take a deep breath” – how I used to hate hearing this.
When you’re overwhelmed this advice can feel infantilising, but real breath work can do wonders!
There are so many different techniques to choose from, but my go-to method is buddhist breathing. Check out this video for an example. For instance, throat breathing can channel frustrating into one part of your body, take the time to browse youtube to find something you like!

3. Pointless art therapy

It’s so easy to take a creative outlet you enjoy and become a perfectionist about it.
If you’re good, you have to sell it or post it, otherwise what’s the point?
But creating for the sake of creating has helped me a lot in the past, especially when stuck in depressive episodes because of trauma. Actually, the more useless and ugly the better!
Sometimes I would just gather what mess I had in the house and make something new out of it. Check out a video I made about this a while back.
Do you have some glue? Candles? Thread and needle? Have some fun and get rid of clutter all in one go!

4. Allow yourself to rest

I still struggle with guilt when I do nothing. But if all of the above are too much right now, give yourself a break. Spending all day scrolling tiktok, or gaming, or napping is completely fine! I trust that when my body asks for rest, it needs it. In hindsight, it always feels like I was charging up for a day later on when I did get stuff done.
Can you get an acupuncture mat? A weighted blanket? A hot-water bottle? Maybe a scented candle? Turn guilty disassociating into self-care time by giving yourself attention and kindness.

Do you have any tricks that have helped you in the past?
Let me know by leaving a comment!

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