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Wilma Stith, LCSW FCPS Itinerant District Mental Health Specialist

During COVID-19 times are unpredictable. Our "normal" has been disrupted and it can cause us all to feel a bit overwhelmed. I have attached a few skills and exercises to help during this time.

COPING SKILL SPOTLIGHT: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 GROUNDING TECHNIQUE

HOW TO DO IT:

This technique will take you through your five senses to help remind you of the present. This is a calming technique that can help you get through tough or stressful situations.

Take a deep belly breath to begin.

5 - LOOK: Look around for 5 things that you can see, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I see the computer, I see the cup, I see the picture frame.

4 - FEEL: Pay attention to your body and think of 4 things that you can feel, and say them out loud. For example, you could say, I feel my feet warm in my socks, I feel the hair on the back of my neck, or I feel the pillow I am sitting on.

3 - LISTEN: Listen for 3 sounds. It could be the sound of traffic outside, the sound of typing or the sound of your tummy rumbling. Say the three things out loud.

2 - SMELL: Say two things you can smell. If you’re allowed to, it’s okay to move to another spot and sniff something. If you can’t smell anything at the moment or you can’t move, then name your 2 favorite smells.

1 - TASTE: Say one thing you can taste. It may be the toothpaste from brushing your teeth, or a mint from after lunch. If you can’t taste anything, then say your favorite thing to taste.

Take another deep belly breath to end.

Create a Calm Down Spot

You can create a place specially designed to allow to calm down in a few steps

Find a spot and make it cozy (ask your child for help with that - maybe they can place a favorite blanket or stuffed animal inside)

Add calming tools

Explain how to use it and practice before

When they are starting to escalate, catch it early and give them a calm reminder about their calm down spot

Blowing Bubbles:

Another great technique for teaching about controlled breathing. Have your child try different lengths and speeds of breaths to blow bubbles. Deep steady breaths win every time!

Bonus: Kids can pop their worries (aka bubbles)!

Credits:

Created with images by Melissa Askew - "My family was enjoying some time on a hike in a wooded area. The way the light was coming through the trees and across the grass and daisies was making me itch to capture the moment. I got down on my stomach in the grass to capture this photo of my daughter Ellie. All I had with me that day was my iPhone X which was still a champ for captuing the moment perfectly. I just love the way the end of the day sunlight was making her glow. To me this photo perfectly captures summer, childhood, and my sweet girl, who shines brighter then the sun." • Irina - "Chilling in the park" • Unknown - "Relax Rest Concerns · Free photo on Pixabay" • Lesly Juarez - "“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh" • Pieter - "untitled image" • Michelle - "untitled image"