After some time away from working in my self-care art journal, I’ve worked on a couple of new pages:
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.
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!
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.
This was an easy and fun way to create a visual self care plan!
Prompt: What would your personal anchor and self-care mind map look like?