Identify well-being resources (internal and external) that can Re-Source students when they become dysregulated. Regardless of how well you feel the co-creation of the learning and development environment was experienced by you and the students you serve or how often you all invite each other into re-embodying those principles, students will find themselves in emotional dysregulation. As such, it is extremely helpful to invite students early on in the educational experience into an exercise that allows them to identify their external resources that serve as well-being anchors for them so that they canturn to these re-sourcing practices in times of stressors that may trigger trauma.
This exercise can begin with a question such as, “What are ways that you re-source your sense of well-being?” You may want to provide some examples such as taking a walk, having a cup of herbal tea, chatting with a friend, taking a nap following an evening of cramming for exam, looking at a photo of a redwood tree or the moon setting over a snow-capped mountain range, rubbing their thumb over a stone, listening to a favorite song, or reading a poem, etc. These would be examples of external ways that we re-source our well-being.
Once students have at least one example that they feel good about, invite them into a guided imagery where they can see themselves doing or being in their well-being re-source practice. As they imagine themselves re-sourcing their well-being in a particular way that feels welcomed to them, invite them to imprint that image into their mind while absorbing all the sensations associated with this well-being re-source experience. You may even – if appropriate – invite them to journal on what they noticed as they practiced their re-sourcing imaging exercise. Perhaps they noticed their jaw softening or their shoulders becoming less tense. Next, invite them to either bring in a small physical object that reminds them of that re-source experience to each meeting you all have together or invite them to simply draw on an index card a few words or a symbol that will bring them back to this re-source moment and the positive sensations associated with it whenever they want to re-source themselves in this moment.
Again, because we don’t always know when our students need to re-source themselves during the learning and development opportunity we are providing and when they might simply be confused, we offer another visual tool for them to use.
Invite your students to display the blue Re-sourcing heart when they are practicing taking care of themselves with their rehearsed re-sourcing exercise. Or if they are confused and noticing they are withdrawing from the learning and development exercise, invite them to display the yellow heart which signals to you that they are simply confused and need some other ways in which to understand the material you really want them to be able to know and do.