Holding Space for Yourself in Uncertain Times

With ACHS Senior Admissions Advisor Molly Sykes

Watch the video recording of "Holding Space for Yourself in Uncertain Times" with ACHS Senior Admissions Advisor Molly Sykes

Molly Sykes, BA, MS, RYT

  • Born in Northern Arizona
  • Currently lives in Portland, OR
  • American College of Healthcare Sciences – Senior Admissions Advisor
  • BA, Arizona State – Education
  • MS, Grand Canyon – Leadership
  • Yoga Teacher Training – 200hrs

What does it mean to “hold space?”

  • Being physically, mentally, and emotionally present for someone
  • To donate your ears and hearts without wanting anything back
  • To accept someone’s truth, no matter what that is
  • To practice empathy and compassion
  • To give breathing room to express, open up and simply be where we are

Listen to understand, not to respond

  • Approach the situation with a non-judgemental, scientific perspective
  • Start with the basics
  • Gather ALL the information
  • Take the time you need


Pranayama (breathwork) Meditation Yoga/Walking/Hiking/Running Journaling Talk Therapy Grounding techniques

Meet Yourself Where You Are

  • It’s okay to not be okay
  • Validate your feelings and needs
  • Acceptance does not mean permanence
  • Understanding where you are NOW will help you decide how you need to move forward

A note on - Expectations -

  • Expectations can create limitations
  • Holding space must be done with non judgment
  • You can’t expect yourself to respond in certain ways, otherwise, you are not truly listening to yourself

A note on - Boundaries -

  • Practice boundaries!
  • You can’t give to others unless you give to yourself first
  • Communicate clearly and in advance
  • You don’t need to apologize

Why is it Important to Hold Space for Ourselves Right Now?

  • Chaotic times create insecurity about the future
  • Others will need you to hold space for them right now
  • Self-growth and authentic responses

References and Further Reading

Hope, A. D. (2016). Holding space: A guide to supporting others while remembering to take care of yourself first. Place of publication not identified: All Things Matter Press. Kahn, J. (2020, January 17). What 'Holding Space' Means + 5 Tips to Practice . Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://gstherapycenter.com/blog/2020/1/16/what-holding-space-means-5-tips-to-practice Kim, J. (2019, October 29). What Does It Mean/Look Like to Hold Space for Someone? Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-angry-therapist/201910/what-does-it-meanlook-hold-space-someone LaRock, D. (2019, October 15). What It Really Means to Be There and "Hold Space" for Someone Else. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://tinybuddha.com/blog/what-it-really-means-to-be-there-and-hold-space-for-someone-else/ PLETT, H. (2020). ART OF HOLDING SPACE: A practice of love, liberation, and leadership. Place of publication not identified: PAGE TWO Books.

Questions? Email mollysykes@achs.edu


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