Grounding Technique for Students and Staff

Grounding Exercise

It’s nearly back to school time for many of us as educators! It’s exciting. Of course, it can also be stressful. When experiencing stress responses, it can be helpful for students and staff in trauma-sensitive environments to use a grounding technique. Think of this as a way to help bring folks to the present time and space in order to get regulated. Use one for yourself or your students. Better yet? Model its use and encourage students to practice with you by saying something like, “I’m feel worried about new things inside. I’m going to try a grounding technique. Feel free to join me if you’d like.”

Grounding Exercise

I adapted this grounding technique from Blaustein and Kinniburgh (2010). It’s a simple way to help yourself and your students when feelings get big or they’re shut down. To get started, take a belly breath. Then, notice and name the following either to yourself or out loud. Finally, evaluate if you feel better regulated afterwards.

  • 5 things you see
  • 4 things you touch
  • 3 things you hear
  • 2 things you smell
  • 1 thing you taste

Now, download the poster and keep it handy at school. Then, use it to help everyone get regulated. For example, invite others to try it when anxious or shut down inside.

Fellow parent Dan Jensen made the graphic for me to share with you. Thank you, Dan, and thank you fellow educators for doing all you do to be ready for students and families. From bulletin boards, to arranging student spaces, to digging into curriculum or pedagogy, and planning community building activities for the first of the year, you’ve got this, especially when you put relationships first!

Enjoy the back-to-school season!

Ms Jen welcome message

#BuildingTraumaSensitiveSchools #GetRegulated #RelationshipsFirst