Commentary

Grounding resources for survivors

The Anti-Violence Project’s objective has always been to believe survivors and ensure the safety, support, care, and healing they need and deserve.

In attempting to increase survivors’ emotional safety and healing, we put together several grounding resources that may provide survivors with coping strategies and tools to help them get out of panic attacks or traumatic memories and reconnect them to their present. While these resources may be useful tools in grounding survivors, we know these resources may not work for everyone because everyone’s experience is unique to them. However, the purpose of collecting these resources is to provide survivors with option-access grounding techniques and tools at their disposal when they are in a distressful and panic situation to help them ground and connect to the body and the present moment. 

  • This 12 minute video, created by the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre (VSAC), features counselor, Shadi, leading us “through a grounding exercise. This type of exercise can be a helpful tool to manage overwhelming feelings by focusing on body awareness. It can provide survivors support to feel more settled and grounded in their bodies and their days.”
  • From the 519 – an agency committed to the health, happiness and full participation of LGTBQ2S communities – comes this resource library which offers worksheets about understanding trauma, consent and grounding in over twelve different languages!  
  • BC’s First Nations Health Authority offers various fact sheets relating to mental wellness. From grounding techniques after crisis or trauma to practicing self-compassion to yoga & meditation, these helpful fact sheets are designed and created by indigenous folks and were created with indigenous communities in mind.
  • This 8 minute video features an in depth “how-to” about practicing Three Part Breathing. Three Part Breathing is a foundational and calming breathing technique that helps regulate the mind and body, reduces feelings of stress or anxiety, promotes full, healthy breaths, and brings us back to the present moment.
  •  This webpage shares grounding techniques from the folks at Love is Respect. These resources  include simple and brief exercises that can be useful tools for managing and processing  strong emotions that can come up when experiencing triggers. 
  • This handout from the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health contains 10 grounding activities that could help to manage a trauma response, increase feelings of safety, and support pathways to healing.
  • This article from Healthline Magazine features 30 grounding techniques to quiet distressing thoughts. These techniques are offered as tools to try out to bring you out of what you may be experiencing, and refocus on what’s happening in the present moment. 
  • This 25 minute YouTube yoga practice is offered by a trauma-informed yoga therapist. It is a gentle and trauma-sensitive practice for grounding and releasing tension. It includes breath work through movement and is appropriate for all levels.
  • From the mindfulness app Insight Timer, this 5 minutes guided meditation is designed to pull your attention back to the present moment time and time again. This “helps to regulate the nervous system and reconnect us with the support and holding of the earth.”
  • This collection of resources, created by the Learning Network at Western University, includes discussion connections between anti-Black racism and sexualized violence, as well as grounding techniques for healing. Trigger warning: this resource includes a discussion of sexualized violence against Black women and girls.
  • This resource list was designed for Black healing and support. It contains affirmations and trauma-informed grounding techniques, as well as other helpful information. 

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