November 15, 2018 By Jamie Elizabeth Klausing
For as long as I can remember, the holiday at the end of the year have always brought an increase of activities, commitments, family gatherings and piled stress onto my already busy -sometimes stressful life, and shoved me smack in the middle of all kinds of uncomfortable situations I’d tried to avoid throughout the previous 11+ months. Over the years, I’ve learned some great ways to keep myself “grounded” throughout the demands of the holiday season. They’re simple, they take only a few minutes, and they can make the difference between tolerating the end-of-the-year hoopla and enjoying it.
Definition: “Grounding” is the act of connecting more deeply and completely to the body, strengthening the feeling of being inside the body and connected to the ground or earth. Many grounding exercises help deepen our connection to anything that is supporting the weight of the body. Other grounding exercises help deepen our connection to our 5 senses, using them to connect us with our body in general and sensitize our inner and outer world.
Explore any or all of these suggestions and see how it works out for you!
- Walking meditation. Step outside and go for a walk. Notice your feet touching the ground, and pay attention to how the surface feels. Imagine the earth below that surface and your feet connecting with it. Hear and feel the crunching of the leaves or the soft snow beneath your feet.
- Go outdoors. The fresh air (even if it’s very cold!) does wonders. If possible take a few minutes in nature, sitting, relaxing and simply noticing the pace of your breathing.
- Lie Down. Whether it be on the floor, yoga mat, ground or your bed, feel gravity drawing you closer to the earth. Take a few moments to scan your body for tension, from the tip of your toes to the top of your head. Allow the sensation of earth or the ground to draw the tension away from your body.
- Mindful shower. Water is not only cleansing but healing. As you stand in the shower, feel the sensation of the water hitting the top of your head and your face, neck, and shoulders. Pretend that it’s coming from a waterfall you’re standing beneath. Then gaze at the water swirling down the drain. Imagine your worries traveling down the drain with it.
- Scented Shower. Drip a few drops of essential oils on the tub or use a spray bottle to spritz the shower walls with your choice of aroma (peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, your favorite). Allow the stream and water to diffuse the scent while you shower and breath deeply to awaken your senses.
- Stretch or exercise. Five or ten minutes of gentle stretching or moderate exercise is all it takes to shift your mind out of your head.
- Listen to music. Yes, play your favorite songs. Put on your headphones, listen to your best standbys, and let the music transport you.
- Laugh. Tell some jokes or put on a funny movie and share a moment of mirth with your family or friends. Laughter’s not only healthy—it’s contagious!
- Breathe. Inhale to a count of four and exhale (through your nose) to a count of four. Then inhale to a count of four and exhale to a count of six. Finally, inhale to a count of four and exhale to a count of eight. Repeat as often as you like. You can do this while walking or sitting to help calm and center yourself.
- Brew some tea. There’s a lot to be said about the benefits of tea rituals. Brew yourself a nice cup of hot tea. Sit and savor its smell and taste.
- Engage in Self-care. Whether at home or booking an appointment from an array of therapeutic bodywork offerings at Mind Body Co-op during the holiday season.