10 Ways to Stay Grounded!
Change is in the air… On a societal level, on a natural level, and — based on what I’ve been hearing from my students and community — on a personal level as well.
The “nothing is as it was before” feeling we’ve been dealing with for what seems like a lifetime has collided with the natural rhythms of life and the Universe. In the northern hemisphere, we’re well into the fall season, a time full of transformation. Kids are back to school in some way, shape or form (hugs and blessings on parents and teachers as you navigate the ever-changing landscape of education!). And even though we’re developing creative ways to celebrate, holidays are upon us.
During this period, it’s essential to maintain your equilibrium. The earth is turning, but you can plant your feet firmly and enjoy the ride!
To help you reconnect with yourself and the world around you, here are 10 ways to stay grounded.
Choose one to put into practice today:
- Go for a walk and look at your surroundings while holding a sense of gratitude. Whether you’re in a secluded forest or a busy urban street, immerse yourself in the environment you find yourself in today. Take in the sights, sounds, smells, and textures. Challenge yourself to notice one new thing each day — a mural on a building, an unusual tree, a birdsong you haven’t heard before. Give thanks for it all.
- Pay attention to your breathing. Count in 4 and count out 5 for 10 mins. ( set egg timer- you can do this sitting down or lying down). Peace begins with your breath. If you have a meditation or yoga practice, you know the importance of breathing! But you don’t need to be a yogi to experience the benefits of conscious, mindful inhales and exhales. When we become anxious or stressed, we take shallow, quick breaths. Research shows we can almost immediately lower our stress levels by slowing our breathing for just a few minutes.
Try using my “Ancient Tree Meditation” to help ground you today…
- Hug a pet. Studies show this brings down stress levels big time, and pet ownership is shown to add years to your life! Furry (or scaly, or feathery) companions offer unconditional love, something we can never get enough of! Pet your dog, massage your cat, snuggle your hamster… love shared is love multiplied. It’s hard to feel disconnected from life when you’re with an animal.
- Declutter. Now is a perfect time to pay attention to your physical space. Don’t have time for a complete closet overhaul? Pick one room, take 15 minutes and remove all visible clutter. Return belongings to their proper home. If something doesn’t have a home, designate one! Let go of anything that is tied to negative emotions or that doesn’t generate positive energy. The act of creating order will clear your space and help you stay grounded.
- Start a doable daily checklist. I’m not talking about a to-do list with more things than you could accomplish in a week, let alone 24 hours! Too many of us use our to-do lists as a catchall rather than a guide for the day ahead. Instead, list out only things you can realistically accomplish in the given available time. Don’t forget “micro-actions” for self-care, such as meditating or sitting in silence for 5 minutes, stretching for one minute, or journaling for one page. Make them completely “doable.”
- Complete any items on your list before you add anything. Resolve not to add anything to your daily list until you complete what’s already on there. You’ve heard of the “one-in, one-out” rule for clothing where you can’t buy anything new until you let go of something first? Use the same approach with your daily list. You can’t add anything else until you either release something or cross something off first. This will keep your task list manageable and keep you from getting overwhelmed.
- Commit to stay offline as much as you can. Researcher after researcher has noted the links between excessive time on social media and dissatisfaction. Yes, it’s so fun to check in with friends and family, but past a certain point, the positive returns drop dramatically. The best way to manage yourself is to have set times to check email and to log into social media, and to stick with them. Use a timer if needed to keep you accountable.
- Help someone less fortunate than yourself. The surest way to generate positive energy is to help someone else. No matter how challenging your life situation, someone else can benefit from your smile, a kind word, or a compassionate gesture. It takes no money and practically no time to compliment the checkout clerk at the supermarket, or to send a quick thank-you text to someone who impacted you. If you have the resources, you can volunteer for or donate to numerous charities, many of which are suffering during this season.
- Put a playlist together of your favorite dance tracks and dance for min. 10 minutes while smiling. This is one of my absolute favorite ways to reset my energy! I simply cannot stay in a bad mood when my favorite music is blasting and I’m making an absolute fool of myself, grooving around my kitchen while my dogs (and hubby) try to stay out of the way.
- Hug a tree. Really- it feels amazing! Lay your cheek against the rough bark of a holy tree and sense the divine spark you share with this — and all! — living beings. Then stand beside it and pretend you’re another tree. Feel your roots sinking deep into the earth, connecting you to the entire world.
Remember: This is NOT a “to-do” list you need to work through. Instead, it’s a collection of ideas to help you calm and ground your energy. When you feel anxious, stressed, or disconnected from Spirit, pick one (just one!) and give it a try.
Do you have other ways you’ve found to ground yourself in stressful times? Share in the comments!