Creating a Safe Place at Home

Choose a space in your home to dedicate to safety and calmness. This could be a room, or even a closet, corner, or a spot outside. Fill the space with things that make you feel safe and calm, so that you can take breaks there and feel more grounded. When thinking about things to include, it can be helpful to think about what textures, smells, imagery, sounds, lighting, or tastes help you feel safe, calm, and grounded

Communication

Passive, Aggressive, and Assertive Communication: Most of us use each of these styles of communication throughout our lives and in different relationships in our lives. Assertive communication is characterized by respect, confidence, firmness, fairness, and a relaxed demeanor. Review the table below to learn more about each of these communication styles. Reflect on which situations and which relationships you use each of these communication styles.

Breathing

Our minds and bodies are in constant communication, and our breathing patterns are one example of this. When we feel stressed, we often take shallow, quick breaths from our chest. When we feel safe and relaxed, we take longer, deeper breaths from our stomachs. Experiment with changing your breathing patterns and notice what happens in your body and mind. This can be a great way to manage stress and anxiety.

PLEASE Master

Reducing vulnerability to unpleasant emotions: While all emotions serve a function and have meaning, sometimes it can be helpful to find ways to protect ourselves from “spiraling” and feeling overwhelmed. The following acronym from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is used to help us remember ways to reduce our vulnerability to “spiraling:”

Meditation for Working with Difficulties

This exercise guides the client in attending to pleasant sensation, then unpleasant, then back to pleasant, and then trying to perceive both at once. It is a good practice of shifting attention to not ruminate on pain or troubles.

Self Compassion Break Version One

Accepting our own vulnerability is made easier when give ourselves compassion. Use this self-compassion break with clients in session or encourage them to use it on their own when working with difficult or vulnerable emotions.

Walking Meditation Version One

This is a guided walking meditation.

Feeling Your Body and Mind as a Lake

Help clients experience the steadiness and continuity of their mind that is underneath mental events like emotions.

Distress Tolerance Skill, Improve the Moment

The following strategies from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) can help clients get through moments of distress by improving the moment:

Social Support

During the pandemic, a lot of us aren’t seeing as many people as we used to, and sometimes we can forget who we can reach out to. Take some time to make a list of people you can include in your social support network. Once you have your list of potential people, try to reach out to at least one person