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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!
LauraFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:47 am
I count my blessings. Whenever I feel negative, I make a list of everything and everyone that’s awesome in my life.
JeniferFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:48 am
I sew and knit, it gives me something to allow my brain to unwind from the business of the day and find a place of zen. Also, once I’m done with my project, I have a present to give to someone I love and that will last for a long time!
JamieFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:48 am
I remember that the days are long but the years are short. The days can seem to drag and get overwhelming but the years seem to fly by so I try to stop myself in the middle of my impatience or frustration with my husband or children and remember that. Relationships are so precious.
Christina GFebruary 19, 2014 at 10:11 am
This is such a great comment and totally what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you Jamie!
MarthaFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:48 am
TRYING to not be so anal about every little household thing. “Trying” being the key word here.
JennyFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:49 am
I love love love keeping fresh flowers next to my bed. It’s nice to wake up to something refreshing and beautiful every morning!
ChrystalFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:49 am
I make sure that all of the dishes are done and the sink is clean before I go to bed. Coming home from work to a clean kitchen does so much for my state of mind, and makes dinner prep a lot easier!
HelenFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:51 am
Trying to remember to stop and really talk to the kids, to try and share a moment with one of them, looking into their eyes and having a hug works wonders when the three of them together are like a mass of feral chaos!
Also, if you ever want to really, really reeeaaalllllyy appreciate Target, I suggest moving to New Zealand for a year and a half. When you get back you might actually want to lie on the shop floor and ground yourself IN Target. Or lick the aisles, one or the other!
EllenFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:55 am
Sometimes just turning off the music in the car, rolling down the windows and taking the long way to wherever I am going helps me focus and be present and calm.
EmilyFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:55 am
I buy supplies that get used up pretty quickly (paper towels, toilet paper, etc) in bulk from Target. That way the only shopping I do weekly is for food : )
CamilleFebruary 19, 2014 at 7:57 am
I go on a walk with my daughter. She’s 19 months and the whole world is just one big adventure to her. There’s so much to be discovered – so we hold hands, walk slowly, pet friendly dogs, tweet at birds, wave to trees, pick up pinecones… And then I’m reminded of the the really important, sweet things in life.
ashleyFebruary 19, 2014 at 8:00 am
a couple things I do to get connected with the present moment:
1. sit in front of my fish tank and just breath and watch. so calming.
2. watch at least part of the sunrise. connects me to whatever is out there.
MeredithFebruary 19, 2014 at 8:00 am
Getting some fresh air usually helps me stay grounded. That and having a good conversation with my mom or sister. They usually know best :) I really like your suggestions, too!
AmyFebruary 19, 2014 at 8:02 am
Knitting! It’s my new obsession. So relaxing.
KyraFebruary 19, 2014 at 8:03 am
I just started using Gain Flings. Love them!!
JennyFebruary 19, 2014 at 8:06 am
when i’m feeling like i need grounding i purge & clean the house…everything looks a little brighter with a clean, uncluttered house. :)