Creating the mental sanctuary you need in the moments you need it the most.
The idea of a safe space can feel like a foreign concept. Growing up, you may have had to abandon your boundaries, push aside your identity or been in traumatic situations, making you question if you could ever feel safe.
If you are on a journey to finding your safe space, what does that actually look like? It could be a group of people with which you find respect and emotional security. Maybe it's a physical location, like your bedroom with all of your favourite things that offers you some form of comfort. Now, imagine in a moment of intense overwhelm, anxiety, stress or when you are having a depressive episode and you cannot visit that group of people or get to that physical location, or don't have a physical location at all, that would you feel so safe?
It's time to redefine the idea of the safe space and start creating a mental sanctuary that you can tap into, time and time again, whenever you need it. Instead of wanting to escape your mind, to crawl out of your skin and disconnect, it is essential to be able to come back to yourself and find a way to create safety whenever you really need it.
Constructing your Safe Space
First, it is important that you know you are deserving of safety and compassion.
Finding safety externally may not always be easy and not readily available, and if we have been taught anything in this year of Covid-19 and lock-down, is that having a mental safe space, a mental sanctuary was the hope that got you through the overwhelm of working from home, home schooling, spending more than the necessary amount of hour s with certain loved ones and ultimately from having a complete breakdown.
The place that you choose as your safe space can be a place you have been to or can be completely made up. It is in your imagination and it should have everything you want and need to feel safe. This is your moment to brainstorm. Think of moments that have made you feel your happiest, your safest and your most content. Write those down. Compare each of these moments and imagine yourself right back in that space. Does it make you feel happy? At ease? Comfortable? Safe? You might have found the ideal safe space for you.
Have fun with imagining your safe space. If the lights are too bright, dim them a little. If there are too many people, take them away- create the most ideal conditions for this safe space. Remember it is yours and yours alone. You are the architect of this safe space, and can imagine something nearly impossible to build, that isn't on earth or is as simple as a path to walk on. This is the space you come to in order to relax, to feel less anxious, overwhelmed and stressed.
Ideas for your Safe Space
- A palace
- The ocean
- A forest
- The mountains
- Your favourite room
- A walking path
- A temple
- An airplane in the clouds
As you get more and more familiar with your safe space, start to add to it in smell, sounds, textures and sensations. Make it as real for yourself as possible.
Do you have a mental safe space? Powerfully Mindful would love to hear from you what that looks like or if you have ideas for a safe space.