Social Distance Summer is forcing me into a new and improved routine to get grounded.
If you’re like me, your head is SPINNING with the chaos of the world we live in. Usually to come down from the chaos of the world I practice self-care and get myself grounded, but when the world is in a continued trauma response this gets a little tricky. I’ve noticed that typical self-care tips like bubble baths and nature walks just aren’t cutting it anymore. Essential oils and guided meditations are great but alone they aren’t remedying anything for me – so I’ve decided it’s time to rethink my grounding routine and try some new combinations of tools (and I’ve included some social media boundaries).
What Does it Mean to be Grounded?
Before we jump in let’s chat about grounding. What is it? Why do we do it? How does it work?
In my opinion, grounding is the art of getting into the moment and in your body. It’s a way to calm the nervous system, check in with how we physically feel and to quiet the chaos in our big beautiful overstimulated brains.
When I think of grounding I picture myself as a tree. My legs are the trunks and my roots grow out of them and literally into the ground. I imagine my tree getting as big and tall as it wants while its roots stay firmly planted in the ground. Sounds ideal, right?
I imagine the chaos in my mind being sweet bird songs and everything being picturesque. When I’m not grounded – that’s when I picture my raw roots out of the ground. Like a tree that’s been knocked over by a storm.
Ideally, we want to be grounded. To do this I used to stick to routines, exercise regularly, meditate daily and practice mindfulness but as of the 2020 hot mess express we are in I’ve been struggling to stay grounded even within my routines.
Now that we are at an understanding of the purpose of this practice let’s jump into the new and improved ways I’ve been practicing grounding!
Turn Off The Phone
If I am home and in a safe environment this is my most effective (and most difficult) way to get grounded. Be honest with yourself right now – are you GLUED to your technology in an effort to stay connected to those you love? Turn off the phone (but maybe warn your mom first because if she is anything like mine she WILL call the police if you don’t answer within a 30 minute span).
When we turn off our phones we release our obligations to respond, be productive or show off/share what we are doing. We can just BE. Being is weird when we aren’t used to it but let me tell you once you get the hang of doing what you want when you want it’s a GAME changer.
I imagine my phone being this source of static for my brain. Because information is constantly coming in, I compulsively check it for new things. I receive external validation on it so by turning it off and doing ANYTHING else I get a break from having to show up or show off. I get to get grounded into who I am and sit in my silence. It’s magic!
Not to toot my own horn but I am a guided meditation queen. I love my Calm app. I love the sweet sound of fake rain in my headphones and I adore listening to someone tell me how to relax. Unfortunately, I am also EASILY distracted by anything these days (anyone else on high alert all the time?) so I struggle to follow along while sitting still for more than 10 minutes a day.
To supplement my daily sitting meditation I’ve been getting grounded by doing walking meditation. You can do these on the Calm app (Headspace probably has them too but I’m a Calm purist) or by walking around and getting present in your body. How does it feel when your foot hits the ground? What do you see, hear or smell?
*bonus points for walking around in your apartment because it’s a million degrees outside making it too hot to go on a walk.
Yoga/Dance/ Get Grounded by Movement
If meditating isn’t your jam try doing yoga, dance, workout videos, anything that boosts your heart rate a little! If I am REALLY struggling to get out of my head I will do a higher intensity workout to wear myself out a little OR do something that forces my focus (like hand balancing or an out of my element dance class).
Another option is to pull out your yoga mat and literally just lay on the ground. Let your thoughts run until they tire themselves out and then try to just take note of them. Step into the role of the observer and watch them run themselves into the ground. THIS TAKES A LOT OF PRACTICE (for most of us) so don’t get mad if it is hard to do.
Get Grounded with the Elements & Gravity
Last but not least hop into the elements.
Take a bath, get in a pool, go to the ocean, drink some water (are you dehydrated? You might be!). Even listening to ocean or rain sounds will help you connect to water. This will force you to notice the sensations (either feeling water on your body or hearing it) and pull you out of your head.
BREATHE. Maybe you aren’t ready for a major meditation but you can always try a box breath! Take a deeeeep breath in and count to four, hold the breath for four seconds, release for four seconds then hold for four seconds before inhaling again. ONLY DO THIS A COUPLE TIMES.
Touch some plants, get barefoot in the grass, feel the dirt under your feet. Get to know you by connecting with our planet. One of my favorite ways to get grounded is to go outside and water my plants. A link to my blog post about my patio plant friends is here if you want to check it out or buy some plant friends of your own!
Light some candles, watch the flame flicker or use incense JUST BE CAREFUL NOT TO LIGHT YOUR HOUSE ON FIRE. And never leave candles burning when you aren’t around.
And last but not least use our good friend gravity by investing in a weighted blanket. My weighted blanket changed my life. It creates a safe little cocoon for me to hide in and it applies pressure on my muscles which forces them to relax. This is the one I use but if you want to splurge there are SO MANY possibilities.
There you have it my loves! These are some of my new and improved ways I’m getting grounded. As a reminder I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR THERAPIST. Please work with a medical professional when it comes to your physical and mental health and never make decisions based solely on the advice of a stranger on the internet.
Sending you lots of love!
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