The holidays are almost upon us and with all of the good stuff comes some have-to’s which may cause us anxiety.
Have to’s like seeing distant family who trigger us, or cooking for thirty impatient guests. Maybe you have some social anxiety and find yourself withdrawing when around people for way too long. Whatever is going on with you, here are some quick tools to ground yourself. This is a tried and true practice (share with anxious kids too!).

The 54321 Coping Technique:

Firstly, locate your breath and notice it. Follow the breath in and out, in and out (set timer for 30 seconds and watch the clock as you simply breathe).

Then, notice 5 things you see around you. State (inside voice is fine too) each thing as you see it.

Acknowledge 4 things you can touch around you. List them as you touch them.

Witness yourself hearing 3 things (external only) and list them.

Focus on 2 things you can smell.

Taste 1 thing (already in your mouth…gum, coffee, etc.)

Try this deceivingly simple tool when anxious, stressed, or spiraling down into your own private hell. No need for that. You can control the way you feel (to a certain degree) by grounding yourself to each specific moment.


Jodi Derkson, MEd

After attending UBC and earning her degrees, Jodi taught full-time for over ten years in the public school system creating student-centered curricula to guide her students towards a more knowledgeable and loving view of themselves and others. Jodi introduced topics of bullying, discrimination, mindfulness and positive relationship habits into her classes and celebrated students’ achievements as if they were her own.


Hello, I'm Jodi!

I offer individual and group coaching to help youth & adults manage their anxiety and mental health with ease.

Book a 15 minute Virtual Meeting or Drop a Line

Here I am. Approachable. Zero judgment. I know how to connect and help.

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