This is the time of year when things start to feel a little crazy for people. The most common complaints that I hear starting in October includes increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of overwhelm and this is often described as “the world is just moving too fast!”. It’s completely normal for people to feel swept up in the hustle and bustle of the fall and holiday season and they may feel completely overwhelmed before they even know how they got into that state. Now is the time to start implementing grounding, calming and nurturing practices into your daily routine so that we can build up a resilience to the increased stress that accompanies the fall season. Here are 10 grounding practices that you can practice anytime, anywhere to give our body some much needed support and resilience in the busiest time of year:
Take a deep breath at every red light. Long, deep, intentional breaths immediately help to calm the central nervous system where we hold most of our stress and tightness. Deep breaths will unwind this tension, and re-set our “fight or flight” response. Red lights are just a good (and all to persistent) reminder to slow down and take those breaths.
Make a to-do list daily & prioritize. When we keep it all in our head, we feel even more scattered and don’t know where to start. Put your tasks down on paper and sort through them in order of priority. Visually, when we can see and schedule our tasks, we’re much more productive and lessen that feeling of overwhelm and forgetfulness.
Take a 10 minute walk when things start to pile up. Even though you feel like you don’t even have time for a walk – you actually do. When your to-do list piles so high you feel overwhelmed, step back and re-focus with a brisk walk. When you get back to work, everything will feel more
Use traffic as an opportunity to practice calming breaths and quieting your mind. Traffic doesn’t have to be the most explosively traumatic part of your day. There’s nothing you can do about it, so you might as well use it as an opportunity calm down (because hey – what else are
you going to do while you’re just sitting there?). When we’re in time sucking traffic, we usually have so many frantic emotions we don’t even realize how wound up we are. Take deep belly breaths during the entire duration of traffic and exhale out the frustration, physically letting it go. Once you’re rolling again, you’re feel so much more calm.
Ask yourself, “What is actually happening right now”. When you’re overwhelmed, just stop. Physically stop what you’re doing and ask yourself, “OK – what is actually happening right now?”. When you verbally list it out, it’s not all as overwhelming as you think it is. What may be
happening: You’re stuck in traffic and you might be 10 minute late – the appointment will still happen. You have way too many emails – you’ll get to them one at a time. Dinner isn’t going to fix itself – no one is actually going to starve. You have that weekend trip to see your family – you’re not being forced to go and you could stay home to rest and re-charge if you really needed to. Often, when we stop to figure out why exactly we feel so overwhelmed – the list really isn’t that big and scary. There are just too many things ON the list in the first place. Prioritize and also practice setting boundaries.
If you feel like you could use some emotional support for stress management, consider scheduling a free 30 minute health coaching appointment with me on Thursday evenings at Ellwood Thompson’s. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule!
Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN | HealthCoach@EllwoodThompsons.com