Boxes of Control & Grounding Checks

Last night, we did some journaling for the first time in a while.  We’ve been frustrated that despite practicing self-care, we are still experiencing high levels of anxiety and forgetfulness.

We pulled out our trusty Boxes of Control, which is a CPTSD/DID Symptom Management tool we brought home from Sheppard Pratt.  It looks like this:


Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 11.34.05 AM
Click image to enlarge


As I was filling in the boxes about anxiety, I tried to be kinder to myself.  I told myself, it’s okay to feel worried or anxious given all the changes we are currently facing.

I didn’t sleep wonderful last night.  When I woke up, I had overslept, so I just went to my in-home office and started working.  I began falling asleep at my desk, and really started getting angry at myself.  Why couldn’t I pull myself together?

I recentered a bit by playing some piano.  Then, I reflected back on the Boxes of Control.  

I finally realized what the problem was (besides my inner critic being on a roll).  I’m not grounded.  No wonder I’m forgetting to use my tools.  If I’m not in my body, how could I possibly remember to use my skills?

I believe I need to go all the way back to the basics.  What does that mean?  It doesn’t mean employing Grounding Skills, oddly enough.  It means checking on my groundedness. In order to do that, I’ve pulled out my Grounding Checks.

Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 12.03.08 PM
Click image to enlarge


This particular worksheet is setup so that you easily tick off the box to mean yes.  I also put a vertical line (—) through the box to indicate no.  The reason is I want any blank boxes to stand out at me.  If there are blank boxes, it may mean I’m also dealing with amnesia which means I have to go even farther back into basics (before I can work on grounding).

My goal this weekend is to complete Grounding Checks every 30 minutes.  I’m going to set a timer on my iPhone to help me remember.  On Monday, I’ll evaluate the results and see if I need to go father back into basics, or if I can step forward into choosing grounding skills.

Here we go!




  1. It’s always useful to me to see the tools others use. Thank you for sharing!

    And you are right—this is a time when self-compassion is super important! Please be good to yourself.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s