Developing Your Own Safe Space

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 @ 5:55 PM

by Sarah Ramsay, MA, LMFT, BC-TMH

With all the changes to our schedules the past several days, we may be returning to our house exhausted or we've been working from home all day, helping the kids with their schoolwork, and finally at the end of the day, we are able to sink into the couch and breathe a sigh of relief. Sometimes we run all day, flooded with emotions whether we are conscious of them or just pushing through them. Once we are able to physically step away from the stressors and are in a space of our own, we can relax and decompress from the pressures of the world.

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to wait until the end of the day to feel this way? Being able to have a place to release this stress is necessary for our health and can increase resilience. Having this space more often can increase tolerance and therefore increase positivity individually and relationally.

What if we could learn to create a space in our mind where we could transport to at any moment? This may sound a little fictitious. In reality, it is not imaginary, but rather imagery. If you have a moment right now, think about the last place you were that felt calm, safe or both. Maybe this is with someone you love or perhaps a vacation in the mountains. If you can’t think of one, imagine a setting that would allow you to feel calm and or safe.

I’d like for you to take a break from this article for just a moment and bring up that image in your mind. While you do this, take a 360-degree view and notice what you see. Notice what you hear, smell, sound and feel. Live in this space for a few minutes and really take it in…

How do you feel? If you feel the same, maybe try it longer and think about it in more detail. This is just one tool that can be used for an escape and the more you use it, the easier it is. Whether you have 30 seconds or 5 minutes in your day, try this mini retreat away from life and see if it helps restore your mood and your thoughts. Everyone needs a vacation every now and then, takes yours today.