Little Things That Go a Long Way (+$300 Target Sweepstakes)

This post is sponsored by P&G. Save on NEW Gain Flings and Tide Pods at Target. Text CLEAN to Target (827438) for mobile coupons*.

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?

Bueller? Bueller?

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!

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  1. Rachel M

    February 19, 2014 at 5:31 am

    I buy toilet paper and toiletries in bulk from Target! By buying in bulk and storing it, I don’t have to think about shampoo for a year!

  2. Danielle

    February 19, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Such a good reminder Sarah. Checking with your body is a good one especially as I get older! And trying to be more present is a current goal of mind for sure.

  3. Kristiina

    February 19, 2014 at 6:15 am

    If I get overwhelmed by my kids (the noise! the questions! the whining!), I try to remember what my parents say: one day, they won’t want to be around you—it’s hard to believe I will miss the chaos! Also knowing that staying connected now will help with the connection when they’re older motivates me to stay present/focused. :)

  4. Duchess Pandora

    February 19, 2014 at 6:17 am

    I use my crock pots to get the lion’s share of my weekday meals ready on Sunday. I have the kids help me, so we are spending time in the kitchen together, while accomplishing a useful task.

  5. Jamie O.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Even just sitting down at night, catching up with a DVR’d show, making dinner for myself, or going to bed early help me keep it together!

  6. Stephanie

    February 19, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Thank you so much for these type of posts. I am working on calming down and listening to my body and you give a lot of great suggestions!

  7. Ris

    February 19, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Meal planning is the little thing that goes a LONG way in my house. Having everything lined up for the week means no Tuesday night errands or “what are we having for dinner?” freakouts.

  8. Jenn Halloran

    February 19, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Prepping for the morning rush the night before, i.e. packing lunches & snacks, laying out clothes, planning breakfast, all help to ensure the mornings go a wee bit smoother in getting us out of the house on time. When I’m not frazzled first thing in the morning, it sets the tone for a calmer, more collected day.

  9. Monica

    February 19, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Hugs. Oh, hugs. They are my number one best way to feel grounded. Now that my little girl is here and quite the snuggler, my hug-tank is pretty well filled throughout the day…which has significantly reduced the number of awkward encounters I have with unsuspecting friendly store clerks (kidding…kind of). I love the body scan idea!

  10. Erica

    February 19, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I ask my kids to sit on my lap and I just hold them without an electronic device in one hand. That usually brings me out of my head.

  11. Kristin

    February 19, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Multitasking is awesome and efficient but I have to remind myself NOT to do it when my kids are sitting on my lap, telling me a story, etc. Did I mention I love Target? Hubs refers to it as “the land of my people.”

  12. Katrina

    February 19, 2014 at 7:20 am

    I try to make at least one large crockpot meal a week. There are only two of us and this can save me from making dinner a few nights and even lunches. Lifesaver.

  13. Elisse

    February 19, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Just going for a little walk can help me so much. Something about the fresh air helps me clear my mind.

  14. Jessica

    February 19, 2014 at 7:43 am

    I started meditating before bed to ground myself. I am using the Headspace App (thanks for the suggestion!) and LOVING IT!

  15. sydney85

    February 19, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I like to take 15 minutes each afternoon for an afternoon tea break. It calms me down after my busy morning and lets me get focused on what I am going to prepare for dinner, going out for the night or the next day’s activities. I feel much more organized and that always makes me feel good.