Here are some tips on how to ground yourself at this very challenging time:
1) Journaling. I get to anchor my thoughts and anxieties when I journal. So as to not have my thoughts all over the place, causing further wear and exhaustion, I write it all down. This helps me focus on what’s important even only for an hour or a day. Now it doesn’t need to be an actual journal, it could also simply be a scratch pad – somewhere you could write things down. It has been proven that the act of physically writing things with your hand can have a deeper and more therapeutic effect than simply composing on your computer, iPhone, etc. There appears to be “a brain/hand connection’ if you will, that connects you physically to what you write. In fact, I first wrote the draft of this article in my journal and then transferred it onto my computer. I use my journal for everything – I call it “My Book of Life”. I get to figure out problems, be creative, rant, and even write poetry in it. Yup, it’s all in there. But that’s my way – find your own way of getting things out of your head and onto, preferably, paper.
2) Talking/Chatting. Talk to those who really know you. If you have good relationships with your family, and certainly with your friends too, talking with them in times of need is very nurturing. I’m fortunate to have a close knit family – we can easily talk, connect, laugh and even worry together. Even though they all live in Canada – the phone has always been a bridge for us. And, of course, talking with really good friends provides a great deal of comfort and relief no matter what is going on in my life.
3) Pets. Not sure how I would have survived the past five years caring for my husband if it wasn’t for the daily comfort of my little Mitzy, who I often call my “Comfort Cat”. Brian, our other cat, sadly passed away in 2016 – he was so loving as well. They are sweet and loving little companions for sure – keep them near.
4) Sleep. Perhaps not necessarily grounding in and of itself, however, I find it if I don’t get the best sleep possible – the next day I am unfocused and unproductive. I call this the magic and necessity of sleep or “Vitamin S”. Not only is sleep so important for overall health but also for your immune health – which we need to strengthen now more than ever. Turn off your computers and TVs by 10 or 11 PM and get some sleep.
5) Meditate. Meditate if you can. I’ve had the fortune of learning transcendental meditation some 35 years ago and I’ve been practicing it daily since then. Don’t get me wrong; some days I do miss out but I would say I’m able practice my mediation consistently at least 95% of the time. It’s a must for me. If meditation is difficult for you just slowing down your mind for 10 minutes once or twice a day can do wonders. By slowing down the raciness and even fears in your head it can actually improve your stress response, improve brain function and balance your blood pressure. You can also try deep breathing – close your eyes and slowly count to 6 as you inhale then another 6 as you exhale – slowly. Do this for about 5-10 minutes. Miraculously you’ll feel calmer. Of course, listening to relaxing music will also do the trick. If the phone rings or you hear a text coming in ignore it – you can attend to it when you’re done. Even during this crisis you need to give yourself a break.
6) Sunshine. Let the sunshine warm your body. If you are able to go outside – away from others – and just sit in the sun for 5 to 10 minutes that would certainly be good medicine for you. Getting vitamin D, which sunshine provides, onto your skin will increase your immune system considerably. Try and do this practice early in the morning. I know it’s still winter for many so if you can try and do this. Exercise is OK but hanging out outside for no reason is not OK.
I hope these tips will calm and center you a bit more. This is a time to slow down, for sure, we really don’t have any choice in the matter. Perhaps this is one of the best gifts coming out of this pandemic. We do need to slow down and really assess our lives and discover what’s important and what’s not.
Getting to the essentials of what matters IS What Matters.
Thinking of you and sending many, many blessings,
P.S. Social Distancing doesn’t mean not connecting online, by phone, facetime, skype etc. Stay tuned in.