How can we remain grounded and calm in today’s world of COVID-19?
Is there something I can do right now to feel “safe” emotionally and psychologically?
What can I say or do to help others during this time?
These are just a few questions I’ve been pondering lately.
This pandemic has sent us all into a state of bewilderedness, fear and even panic. There is no denying that the uncertainty of this situation is both challenging and stressful. Everybody reacts differently to stressful situations, whether it be a global health emergency or a smaller-scale personal crisis.
Being grounded means that you feel safe and secure in your own skin and within your life. It means that you have a stable foundation that allows you to roll with the punches and deal with the ups and downs of life
Grounding connects us to the present moment. It pulls us into our physical experience of right now. Through this process we creates a sense of ease in the mind, and stability in the body. Grounding creates calm.
What keeps you grounded?
One way I remain grounded is experiencing nature — smelling the roses, feeling the wind on my face, , hearing the birds singing in the trees. Being grounded is the foundation of self-control, self-expression, and feeling alive.
Here are some steps we can take right now to help take care of yourself and those around you.
- Practice gratitude.
Make a point to observe and even write down one good thing that happened today. Did someone go out of their way to be kind to you? Did your supervisor thank you for stepping up to the plate in this time of crisis? Take note of it all.
- Appreciate life’s simple pleasures.
The best things in life are free. With the warm weather and sunny days ahead of us, getting outside is a great choice. Take time to appreciate the beauty around you. Notice the flowers that are blooming. Soak in the warmth of the sun on your face.
- Take a break.
Turn off the noise—turn off the news—and don’t feel guilty about it. While we want to stay informed, there is also lots of misinformation out there. Social media can cause unnecessary—and avoidable—anxiety. Give yourself permission to switch gears and focus on something completely different. Eyes up, phones down?
- Connect with others.
This is the true test of using the Internet and social media mindfully. It’s more than possible to practice social distancing and still maintain relationships with friends and family. I keep in touch with my family on Facetime and call friends and family regularly .
- Be the change you want to see in the world – Gandhi
While we can and should exercise an overabundance of caution, take the time to remind yourself that you have the privilege of setting a positive example. What do we want to emulate? Appreciation and generosity, or paranoia and greed?
- Prioritize your mental and emotional health.
You may feel all kinds of emotions—you may be struggling. That’s okay and normal during crisis. Many mental health professionals around the world are working with their clients to arrange for virtual appointments. If you’re currently seeing a counselor, take advantage of that opportunity.
Staying grounded and staying in the present moment with deep breathing and exercise routines can also help ground you. If you’re interested in meditation, there are many free or low-cost resources available for download. Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer are all excellent choices.
- Stay active.
When fitness centers everywhere are closed, don’t give up on your exercise routine… create a new one! YouTube is a great source for free workout videos. All you need is some comfortable clothing and maybe a yoga mat. A brisk walk or jog outside is always a good idea but remember to follow social distancing guidelines.
- Make the best of it and have fun.
If you’re staying at home, get creative. Board games, puzzles and scrapbooking never go out of style. Let out your feelings in a poem if writing is your outlet. Unleash your inner chef and see what recipes you can come up with using canned beans and dried goods. Music is a mood booster, so listen to your favorite tunes and dance. The possibilities are endless!
- Lend an ear and be kind.
We really are all going through this together. Try to take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone and use that comfort to be there for someone else. Ask how their day was or if there’s anything they need or wish to talk about. If you have friends on the “frontlines,” such as healthcare workers, thank them. A little bit of gratitude can go a long way.
It is possible to handle everything that’s going on around us and to stay grounded even when everything seems to be out of control.
Take care and stay well,