by Sara Bowman, WTWC yoga instructor and nutritional counselor
It comes easier to some of us than others. I am one of the others. My head is not only naturally in the clouds, I actually enjoy it there quite a bit. However, a lot of life happens here on earth and sometimes spending too much time ungrounded can lead to feelings of overwhelm. Over time I've noticed that some of the easiest shifts can have a great impact on me feeling grounded which leads to dramatically reduced levels of anxiety and a diminishing of that sense of overwhelm. Having an awareness of my roots makes it feel safe to grow and blossom in a different way. I can still flutter around if I choose but I'm not blown around by the lightest breeze against my will anymore. Below are some body-mind-energetic strategies to get grounded. Some are an in-the-moment fix and others work over time, especially some of the nutritionally related ideas. Get grounded and things don't seem so overwhelming.... and reduce the sense of overwhelm and you'll feel yourself take a deep breath and drop into your body much easier.
*No sugar/caffeine – if you just laughed out loud it's okay. Maybe you can switch to a lighter version - replace the 3rd cup of coffee with green tea for example. Sugar leads to crazy blood sugar swings and when your body is that literally overwhelmed it's really easy to start feeling emotionally overwhelmed. Cut it down slowly to avoid a crash or a pendulum effect. And when things slow down – schedule a nutrition appointment with me :)
*Root veggies – they come from they ground and they will seriously help you feel grounded. Go for sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets if you like them.
*Take some magnesium – A really important nutrient that helps you relax. Also leached out of the body by coffee, sugar, carbonated drinks and alcohol. Hmmmmm does anyone see a cycle there? My favorite way to take it is a product called NATURAL CALM.
*More sleep – it's a pretty obvious one but always good to hear another reminder that you really can let that last thing slide another day and get an extra 45 min. It will be so worth it tomorrow.
*Touch the ground – when was the last time you did this? The ultimate in getting grounded.
*Go outside – now, but without your phone – barefoot and FEEL you feet touching the earth. And take 5 deep breaths. You will feel better. You just will. If you want a little bit of science – proven to reduce inflammation and neutralizes free radicals in your system. If it's still too cold when you're reading this - make it a priority for when the weather finally breaks.
Awareness to your feet for a few deep breaths – even if you can't run outside and take your shoes off during that stressful meeting you can still do this. Anytime anywhere in fact.
*Yoga pose for 10 breaths – forward folds or hip openers (like reclined pigeon) are perfect. Great way to wind down in the evening. Stretching, even just a tiny bit, releases tension in the body. Releasing tension in the body releases it in the mind. Things just don't feel like as big of a deal all of the sudden.
*Release perfectionism- Do some things 'good enough' style for a while. And catch yourself mentally beating yourself up for not having it 'more together' or 'shoulding' on yourself. Let it go for right now. Let the laundry pile up for awhile. Buy dinner a few nights. Leave the toys all over the floor before you go to bed. Seriously no one will be traumatized by it at all.
*Cut something out – TV!!! That's a whole other post but really think about trying this for a week or even a couple days or just reducing screen time if it's a big part of your life. It's psuedo-satisfying and leaves us rather disconnected from our bodies and in fact our lives. Try some new ways (or return to forgotten favorites from the pre-Netflix days) to wind down or entertain yourself – your body and mind will thank you. And you'll probably get more sleep so you can put a check mark next to that too.
*Notice your mantra! and change it if necessary - we all have mantras (repetitive statements) running over and over again in our mind. It's estimated that 80% - 90% of our daily thoughts are the same every day. What are you repeating and reinforcing in your head all time? I can catch myself with "I'm so overwhelmed, I'm so overwhelmed" or "I'll never have time for all this" or something similar. I can't tell you what to change it to because it has to feel right to you. Trying to switch it to "I have time for everything" for example might not feel realistic but a simple "present with one thing at a time" might ease the tension enough to get rolling.
*Yoga and movement classes are still my ultimate way tool for calming my mind and dropping into my body. As an instructor, it's always part of my intention to create space for the experience of being grounded in the moment, present with the now and aware of the mind-body-energy connection. Even more importantly I want you to practice the tools to be grounded and present in your everyday life, so I try to incorporate that idea into our yoga sessions as well. Notice what leaves you feeling the most grounded during your days and let me know - I'm always interested in new strategies. Enjoy these very beginnings of spring from your roots all the way up :)
Sara Bowman earned her certification as a Holistic Health Practitioner from the Mt. Nittany Institute of Natural Health. She also holds certification in Holistic Nutrition from the Global College of Natural Medicine and is certified in yoga and meditation instruction. She provides expert nutritional coaching, yoga instruction, and guided meditation classes focused on addressing each client’s individual needs and goals. Sara is deeply passionate about assisting others on their paths of rediscovery. She is dedicated to creating an environment where students can learn at their own pace and practice the art of being at ease in body and mind.
Click here to find our more about Sara's Nutritional Counseling services or here to learn more about our yoga & meditation offerings.