Anxiety causes our mind to become preoccupied with the future - all the things we're concerned might or might not happen - and it can be easy in our most anxious moments to lose awareness of the fact that, at least in the present moment, we might actually be okay. One of our favorite strategies to teach clients is a grounding tool that brings us back from anxious worries about the future to noticing and enjoying the here and now. There are several different versions of this tool; Dr. Helen Williams and Beacon House UK have created a brief video illustrating one of them. When you practice it, what do you notice, both in terms of your environment and any shifts away from anxiety?
Image or information courtesy of Beacon House Therapeutic Services & Trauma Team | 2019 | www.beaconhouse.org.uk
Dr. Bruce Perry is a world-renown psychiatrist, author, and trauma researcher. He emphasizes that one of the most important ways we can help ourselves stay grounded and feeling safe and organized during times of stress is to incorporate patterned, repetitive, rhythmic, somatosensory activity into our daily routines. One of the best, and most enjoyable, ways to do this is by using our bodies to feel and keep a beat! Music therapist, Allison Davies, has a wonderful video up on her YouTube channel teaching children (and adults!) a fun way to do this. Give it a try and let us know how you like it!
The Foundation Trust, an organization in Boston, MA, focused on supporting the needs of youth and adults impacted by complex trauma, has released a guide to strategies for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic for individuals who have experienced trauma. The strategies themselves are helpful for anyone to consider experimenting with during this time of increased stress; however, the guide also addresses ways in which a history of complex trauma may influence a person's response to the added stress of this pandemic and the heightened importance of feeling connected to self and others.
Coping Strategies for Complex Trauma Survivors Contending with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic:
Come for the fun, catchy tune (seriously, once you hear it, you won't be able to keep yourself from singing it); stay for Allison Davies' cheerful spirit and explanation of some of the reasons why singing is so good for us from a neurological standpoint.
What song or chorus do you love to sing to yourself or to your children when you need assurance?
With rain forecast over the next few days here in Georgia, finding ways to help energetic little ones expend physical and emotional energy indoors can be challenging. As part of their new series of resources called "Staying Connected Through COVID-19," the team at Beacon House UK has produced a short video showing how one of their occupational therapists created a small obstacle course in her home to help her children engage in alerting, organizing, and calming activities in just a few fun minutes. Check it out!
Arbor Cove Therapy, LLC, is an outpatient mental health practice specializing in the needs of individuals and families involved in adoption, as well as people recovering from trauma and resulting symptoms of anxiety, depression, and relational difficulties.