Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Anchoring

July 21, 2013

After some time away from working in my self-care art journal, I’ve worked on a couple of new pages:

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Anchoring | creativity in motion

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Art Journal

As mentioned in my last post, I was inspired by Cherie Spehar‘s reminder at this year’s National Institute for Trauma in Loss in Children’s Assembly about anchoring– and its role in journaling & trauma informed practice. In Cherie’s workshop, she mindfully highlighted that the process of journaling in connection to inner thoughts, strong emotions, intense memories, and painful experiences can trigger overwhelming responses for trauma survivors.  Part of proceeding with emotional caution includes anchoring, which involves creating a mini safety plan (before starting to journal) about what the client can do or go to, to help re-establish safety and ground themselves to the here and now if needed.

This resource (Reconnecting to the Present-Anchoring PDF) provides a really good overview about the process, benefits, and tips about anchoring from SASC. Another great reference is Babette Rothschild’s “applying the brakes” content in relationship to trauma intervention.

Self-Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Anchoring | creativity in motion

One anchoring consideration is to re-connect to a positive past image.  A sensory based symbol (a smell, sound, taste, feeling, something you see) can be chosen for recall when feeling out of control and overwhelmed. This can help re-establish a sense of safety and well-being in the present.

For this art journal, I created an Anchoring Artist Trading Card that helps ground and re-connect me to the here and now.  The sensation, feeling, and reflection of light often does this me.

You could also create a Portable Safe Place Artist Trading Card as another form of your personal anchor!

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Mind Mapping | creativity in motion

Some self care mind mapping

I also did some mind mapping for my art journal in the form of a tri-fold to help expand on my self care plan and anchoring related to my professional self. I identified 4 important areas in honoring my own self care: Safety, Creativity, Support, and Well-being.

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Anchoring | creativity in motion

Tri fold notes to myself

This was an easy and fun way to create a visual self care plan!

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Anchoring | creativity in motion

Self-care plan made visible

Prompt: What would your personal anchor and self-care mind map look like?

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Related Posts:

I Care for Me: Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

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2 Responses to “Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Anchoring”


  1. Reblogged this on EngagingtheSenses and commented:
    Happy Monday to all you lovelies,
    This is my first time posting from my new mini- a recent gift from my wonderful,generous, so very there for me mother! It is all very exciting…and freeing. Can now post and read other inspiring blogs from from almost anywhere- am posting from my pillow before sleep late Sunday night. Thus this share from “creativity in motion” and Gretchen Miller! I hope it inspires you to engage in something that nourishes your senses and feeds your soul.
    With warmest Aloha,
    Sabrina

  2. Hannah Says:

    This is a beautiful practice Gretchen and one that I feel compelled (that’s a strong word, but it’s true) to try…thank you!


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