Stop. Take a deep breath in for 7 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and exhale for 7 seconds.
Our lives can feel very overwhelming as we take on the numerous stressors that come with modern life. With the COVID-19 global pandemic and the worldwide response to racism and civil unrest, we are carrying a lot of weight that we may or may not be prepared to handle.
Imagine that you are on deck of a ship in the middle of a storm. If you were comparing how you are currently feeling in the wake of the events of 2020 to this experience, what would it look like? Would you be securely tucked into a corner of the deck getting soaked with every wave that crashes? Or would you be standing on your feet being tossed from side to side as the ship pitches from the waves? Maybe you have already fallen overboard.
When you are not able to feel grounded and secure, it can be hard to focus on anything else. You can be easily overwhelmed by the smallest negative outcome simply because it was just more than you can take. When you feel grounded, you are more prepared for what life throws at you. You can see the storm on the horizon before it is upon you. To focus on what is most important to you, here are some tips that will help you to find your footing during these unprecedented times.
Tips for Feeling Grounded
In the same ways that our bodies benefit from vigorous exercise, so do our minds. This exercise for our minds can come in a variety of forms. Here are a few tips that will help you develop a strong footing.
- Clarify your purpose: Exploring and then living according to your personally defined purpose in life provides a solid base from which you can create meaning. Your purpose can come from many places such as what you do, who you are and what you believe. Take time to think and write down what is important to you. Engage in self-exploration and self-understanding to help clarify your purpose and ensure you are living your life according to it.
- Make time to learn new things: Take on new opportunities at work and home that challenge you, engage in conversations with others who may think differently than you and explore a new hobby that makes you think differently. When you make the conscious decision to tackle new challenges, you empower yourself to accomplish what you set our mind to.
- Engage in a daily mindfulness practice: Mindfulness practices come in many forms such as walking meditations, breathing exercises and yoga. With only a few minutes of focus each day, mindfulness helps develop new pathways in our mind—also known as neuroplasticity.
- Be a single tasker: As often as possible, avoid focusing on multiple tasks at the same time. It can be as simple as putting your phone away while you are watching TV or reading the newspaper while your morning coffee is brewing. This will allow you to direct your focus more easily in the moment rather than being swept up by distractions.
- Practice gratitude: Especially when the world feels bleak and overwhelming it is important to find what you are grateful for. Whether that is through journaling, meditation or talking with others about what you are grateful for, the more you intentionally focus on gratitude the easier it is to find in difficult or stressful times.
- Limit your time on autopilot: Routines can be helpful in accomplishing simple tasks, but they can also make it easier for you engage in mindlessness. Mindlessness makes it difficult to see outside of your previous experiences and explore alternative mindsets. To be able to adapt to life’s challenges, especially ones that you have not previously faced, you need to be flexible in your thinking.
Find What Works for You
These are just some of the ways you can empower yourself to feel more grounded in your daily life. The actions you take and the skills you develop will help you embrace life’s challenges as an opportunity for growth, learning and self-improvement rather than a detriment.
Online Resources for Staying Grounded:
- Psychology Today
- Happify YouTube Channel
- Pause to Refuel
- Spirituality: Deepening the Purpose in Life
- How to Nurture a Spiritual Foundation
- VITAL WorkLife Wheel of Well Being: Spiritual Well Being Definition
- Take Four Seconds
We Can Help
If you are unsure of where to start in your journey towards feeling more grounded, VITAL WorkLife is here to help. Visit your Member Website for additional self-guided resources such as articles and online seminars. As part of your VITAL WorkLife EAP, you also have access to in-the-moment behavioral health support to assist during difficult or overwhelming moments, as well as face-to-face or virtual counseling sessions. Contact us at 800.383.1908 or through the VITAL WorkLife App to access your resources today.