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Have you ever had issues grounding yourself? No, I don’t mean being sent to your room while you sob and listen to Morrissey (LIFE IS SO UNFAIIIIRRRRRR), nor protecting yourself from actual electric shock. I mean pulling back your focus from a nonstop mind and back into your physical body. Sometimes, I can lose myself in my thoughts, which causes me to feel spaced out, dizzy, and pretty damn strange, really. Like a mini out-of-body experience. Anyone else out there feel this way on occasion?
I remember the first time a friend recommended grounding myself by lying outside and feeling the Earth beneath me. I looked at her like she was smoking crack. First off, itchy. Secondly, bugs. Finally, what would the neighbors think? “Oh look, there’s Sarah lying in her front yard. She seems to be fondling the grass and dirt. I knew that chick was weird.”
So maybe I’m not the type to fondle grass, but I have discovered little things that I can do around my home that keep me in the present moment and off the mental hamster wheel, especially when I don’t have much time on my hands due to mom duty.
1. Checking in with your body. If you have 5 minutes to spare and are feeling overwhelmed, sit down, close your eyes and do a body scan. Notice how your body feels – your feet, your legs, your hips, so on and so forth. Divert yourself from mental chatter, and just notice any sensations you have in your body. Don’t judge the sensations. Just observe.
2. Not down with rolling around in a grassy field? Bring nature inside. I love to have beautiful flowers and plants in the home to keep me grounded. Just their presence alone makes me happy, but they also bring my attention to the present moment while caring for them. (Yes, sometimes I touch the plants. Because they are SO DIFFERENT FROM GRASS.)
3. Breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly, counting from 1 to 5 each time. For many months, I thought the whole deep breathing concept was lame. Deep breaths can’t touch MY issues! Well, I’m here to report that as much as you think slow, rhythmic breathing won’t help, it actually does. It just takes more than a minute for your body and mind to get the signal that it’s time to chill out. Try it for at least 5 minutes and then tell me how you feel.
4. Hold your kids. Look at their faces. Count their freckles. Scratch their backs. Look into their eyes and ask them to tell you something funny. Don’t try to sneak a chore when they are answering your question. (So guilty of this.) Be present. Like my dad always said, the best way to stay grounded is to focus on the love around you, outside of you. Forget the to-do list for a bit and take every bit of your little ones in.
An easy way to shorten the time spent doing chores? Gain Flings (available at Target!) are a trifecta of laundry scent, odor removal and extra cleaning power. Say goodbye to extra time spent on stain removal and hello to a lovely scent. See how that works? Now you can spend more time actively listening to your kids and fondling plants instead of slaving away in the laundry room. Up yours, chores. Ommmmmm.
What little things do you do that go a long way? Leave a comment here and you’ll be entered to win a $300 gift card from Target in the Little Bit Goes a Long Way Sweepstakes!