Grounding exercises to ease anxiety and the stress of daily life

Read this article in the Elephant Journal Magazine by clicking here: Grounding/Earthing

Life is busy.

Let’s face it, managing home, work, and family obligations is overwhelming and feels endless.  We tirelessly manage to get through the day by ticking the boxes of our “to do” list until we eventually crawl into bed only to do it all over again the next day.

This type of lifestyle can cause us a tremendous amount of anxiety and stress.  Our bodies are constantly in a state of fight or flight and we are maxing out our adrenal glands.  This type of stress not only causes anxiety but insomnia, weight gain, heart issues and high blood pressure.

How do we handle this?  My suggestion..in addition to self care techniques that you can find in my previous blogs (ex. How to practice self love daily) you need to implement a grounding or earthing practice to your daily routine.

Grounding is a technique that brings people back to the the present moment when they are in the midst of chaos. Grounding skills can be helpful with managing feelings of intense anxiety and can help people regain their mental focus after a traumatic event or anxiety induced state.

There are many proven ways to ground yourself.  If you are in the midst of an anxiety attack and need to get “grounded” you can start by counting backwards either in your mind or out loud, this is actually a mental distraction and therefore takes the focus off the anxiety.  Another wonderful and successful technique is to look around the room and name what you see “lamp, table, picture of my kids, 5 pens in a pencil holder, painting with a horse and a tree…whatever it is you see, call it out.  This helps ground you into the present moment.

Some grounding techniques are actually referred to as “earthing” and like the name suggests, you literally become one with the earth by putting your body in direct and uninterrupted contact with the earth. This exercise requires that your skin touch the soil, sand, water, or a conductive surface that is in contact with the earth.

This can be mean dipping your toes in the sand at the beach, walking in nature, going for a hike deep in the forest, swimming in a lake or the ocean, planting seeds or replanting flowers and digging in the dirt or just walking through the grass barefoot.  Earthing has a tremendous amount of health benefits, too many to mention in this article so I empower you to google “earthing” and “grounding”.

I have compiled a list below of my favorite grounding activities (more than one involves earthing):

  1. Walking or hiking – walking is the simplest and most effective way to reduce anxiety.  Walking at an even pace has a very calming effect.  It can evoke mindfulness, clear your head of rapidly cycling thoughts and release stress.  When walking (or hiking) in nature you will feel more relaxed and open during the walk.  You can also take it one step further and meditate while you walk.  Walks on the beach are amazingly therapeutic as well.  The salt air and calming sound of the ocean is very grounding.
  2. Yoga – specifically Hatha Yoga which is the simplest form of Asana’s (yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques).  Yoga is the soul practice of the body, mind and your spirit and brings you to a state of mindfulness.  This technique can be done at home, for as practice as short or as long as you desire.  I recommend at least 15 minutes for a session length although 30 is ideal.
  3. Gardening – nothing connects you to the earth more than gardening.  This is a fantastic example of earthing as your hands are completely immersed in the soil.  Such a peaceful and mindful art and one that has so many benefits.
  4. Journaling – keeps you in a state of mindfulness by helping to remove negative thoughts as well as organize those distracting racing thoughts.  Getting your thoughts and ideas down on paper will help you clear your mind and enable you to to get to a peaceful state quickly.  Organizing your thoughts also helps you to set and ultimately obtain goals in a more efficient way.
  5. Arts/Crafts/Creativity – being creative by using your imagination and putting ideas into action is a very grounding activity that also has a beneficial and tangible outcome.

Whatever practice you choose, immerse yourself in it.  Bask in the moment of the activity and when you find your mind start to drift and your thoughts beginning to wander…bring yourself back to the moment.  Feel the earth as you put your hands in the dirt, walk across the grass or stick your toes in the sand.  To ground yourself even further, describe out loud how it feels. Describing it makes it feel real.

I love walking barefoot in the grass on a chilly summer morning after it has rained and the grass is wet with dew.  The feeling is magical and reminds me of childhood.  Remember being a child and running through the sprinkler?  Wasn’t that magical?

Even as adults we can create magical moments that make us feel like children again.  The wonderment, the joy and the peace we felt when we were riding our bikes and the wind blew through our hair, or doing summer-salts on a warm summer day with the sun beaming down on us.  How about that moment when you take that first lick of an ice cream cone.

Those moments are priceless.

We can have those now, as adults, we just have to create them.  We live in a world of chaos and instant gratification.  It is our commitment to ourselves to take a step back and slow things down so we can enjoy every single moment, because right now is all we have.

So I empower you to try at least one of these amazing techniques to help ground you and live in each moment as it comes.  It isn’t easy, but over time, it will become easier.

Namaste’

Peace…love…health…always!

As always, if you are ready to embark on your new Journey of self care, self love, and mindfulness Contact Us

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Gentle

Gentle is a fantastic word that I feel embraces the magical side of vulnerability.

Gentle….implies patience, grace and class.

Being gentle with yourself means you are honoring where you are…at this moment…without judgment.  Simply allowing yourself to feel your feelings.

When you honor yourself and are gentle with yourself you are giving yourself permission to just be.  Allowing yourself to be in that moment and feel your feelings truly opens up your soul to healing and your mind to information that can help you on your Journey.

When you judge yourself you are boxing yourself into a space of shame & disappointment with “should have’s” and personal regrets that do not serve a purpose.  The goal of life is to learn the lesson and move on, gracefully.  Forgiving yourself along the way.

Know that you are exactly where you need to be, always.  Simply be & ask yourself what you need at this very moment…love, space, help, advice?  Then honor yourself with whatever it is you need and do not shame yourself for feeling and needing, it is all part of the healing process and critical to your development.

Today, at every moment, be gentle with and honor yourself.

Remember, enjoy today, because tomorrow is not promised.

Namaste’

Discovery through journaling…

Journaling has been an incredible healing and development tool in my life and also for those who have mentored me.  Therapists, coaches and teachers all recommend journaling as a tool for healing from traumatic events as well as for personal development, goal setting, learning and discovering what is holding you back etc.  I fully encourage this practice with friends, family, strangers on planes, and of course with my coaching clients.  If you are seeing a therapist, or a life coach or working with a counselor one of the first things they will recommend you do when you are struggling with life is….buy yourself a journal.  However, you have to be ready to get deep.

When I was in the midst of my “trauma” and trying to bounce back from a horrible life event (the loss of my husband to mental illness, addiction and our ultimate divorce), what helped me take the first steps towards healing was when I started journaling.  There was a point where I did not go anywhere without my journal, seriously, it was like my security blanket.  Through this practice I wrote what I call my “42” list….which literally is the 42 things about my now ex-husband that I dislike. In fact what I learned through journaling is that there wasn’t much I liked about him at all.  It was also through journaling I discovered the level of emotional abuse I had experienced and how lonely and  miserable I was in that marriage despite putting on a completely different front to those around me.  Remember, perception is reality, to a point.

Through journaling I discovered how amazing and free it felt to be able to openly express my thoughts without shame and work through them in my own private world and in my own time.  I also learned how critical those thoughts are when you start the healing process in therapy.  Journaling can take therapy to a whole new level and accelerate the healing process.

Amazing how the thoughts that end up on paper were sitting in your head taking up so much head space.  What a tremendous amount of pressure that is on your mind to hold all that information in there and carry it around, in some cases, forever.  No wonder people have so much anxiety….seeing as though humans are believed to have over 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts a day…how exhausting!

So this article is for those of you who need inspiration to start journaling, today.

Below are some starter journaling topics to get you thinking and writing….which ultimately leads to so much more (see How to start Journaling – Keystone Habit)


  1. Who are you, really?
  2. What person do you put out into the world?
  3. What are you passionate about?
  4. What are the achievements you are most proud of?
  5. What are you most grateful for in life?
  6. What are the most important things to you in life?
  7. How would you describe yourself?
  8. What are your values?
  9. Do you love yourself?
  10. … Why or Why not?
  11. How can you love yourself more today?
  12.  What does it mean to be your highest self?
  13. Look at your life now. Are you living the life of your dreams?
  14. If you have one year left to live what would you do first?
  15. What would you do today if there is no more tomorrow?
  16. What are the biggest things you’ve learned in life to date?
  17. What advice would you give to your younger self?
  18. Who inspires you?
  19. Is there something you’re still holding on to?
  20. What do you need to let go of?
  21. What is taking up too much headspace?
  22. What are your biggest goals and dreams?
  23. What would you do if you cannot fail; if there are no limitations in money, resources, time or networks?
  24. What do you want to achieve 1 year from now?
  25. What limiting beliefs are you holding on to?
  26. What bad habits do you want to break?
  27. Are you living your life to the fullest right now?
  28. What drives you?
  29. How can you change someone’s life for the better today?
  30. Who have been the most influential people in your life?
  31. Are these people enabling you or holding you back?
  32. What is your ideal life partner like?
  33. Are you afraid of of letting others get close to you?
  34. What is one thing you’re going to do differently after reading this article?

Things to do while you are single..

I have always been in long term relationships or at least long term dating.  I grew up in a dysfunctional home therefore I had no concept of what a “healthy relationship” was, I just knew I was happiest when I was in a relationship, even if it wasn’t good for me.

I used to call myself a serial monogamous.  If I met someone and we started dating that was it for me, we were a couple.  Instead of taking the time to get to know someone and even date (not sleep with) multiple people at a time to determine what type of person is right for me, I just went 100mph into a long term relationship, even marriage..twice.

I missed and even ignored many red flags, my favorite men were the “emotionally unavailable ones” that allowed me to chase them.  I fought for relationships that any healthy person would have let go of way before the relationship began.  I was always the person that saw the potential but not the actual person.  To me, all this was worth it because it was better than being single.  You see, being in a relationship defined me.  I felt less than if I wasn’t partnered up.

So, two failed marriages later…one of them quite toxic, I decided after my second divorce to stay single until I was truly ready for a healthy relationship.  I can tell you its like anything else, in the beginning it feels lonely and dreadful.  However, over time something magical happened……. I started focusing on myself.   All that energy I spent focusing on a partner, all that energy I used trying to establish my place in relationships or trying to make my partner happy (even when I knew it was impossible) I started using on myself.  I would rely on myself to make decisions, I started taking better care of myself (yoga, morning facials, meditation, hot baths, eating better), I started focusing on the things I liked vs. what I thought he liked, I started reading and writing in my journal daily.  Through this Journey I am getting to know me and through this experience I am learning that I have been in the wrong relationships my entire life.  These lessons I have experienced with these breaks up pushed me to stay true to myself, work on myself and learn who I am.  What I like, what I don’t and what I really want from myself, life, and a relationship.

I have discovered there is no timeline for anything in life, especially healing.  I am so grateful for this time with myself as it has allowed me to know me and I really like who I am, who I am becoming and I am so excited for this next phase in my life.


Below is a list of things that I think are crucial to do while you are single:

  1. Find yourself
  2. Remove unhealthy people from your life
  3. Invite new people into your life
  4. Reconnect with old friends
  5. Spend time with happily married people
  6. Get in shape
  7. Travel, solo
  8. Take yourself out to dinner at least once
  9. Reclaim your virginity
  10. Learn something new
  11. Take a class
  12. Start therapy
  13. Find a LifeCoach
  14. Get healthy (start a personal wellness plan)
  15. Meditate
  16. Read, all the time
  17. Binge watch Netflix
  18. Figure out what you want in a person and journal it, often
  19. Set standards, be picky and don’t settle, ever
  20. Spend time with family
  21. Start a keystone habit
  22. Treat yourself with kindness

This list is my “single life guide” and will probably add to it as time goes on.  I plan to enjoy this solo Journey as long as it lasts knowing that when the time is right, the most amazing person is going to walk into my life and it is just going to fit and I will be ready (that is the important part).

It is easy to jump from one relationship to another to avoid being alone and focusing on ourselves but there is no true benefit to it.  Staying solo, working on yourself and discovering who you are is priceless.

I empower you to take time for you and discover your true self!

Namaste’

 

I love my forties…

Its true, I love my forties!

I have never felt so confident, so radiant, so beautiful and so strong…in my entire life.

I truly believe life starts in your forties.

In my twenties I was insecure, confused, in a rush to do EVERYTHING…and didn’t care who I did it with.

I enjoyed my thirties but I always felt I had something to prove.  I remember at one point thinking…OK, I am married and have two kids and a home…at the age of thirty…I did what I was supposed to do, Im successful.  Phew!

Turning forty didn’t bother me, at all, I was excited to enter this age group.  Although I was NOT excited about wrinkles, gray hair and night sweats….there are so many other amazing things that outweigh all the not so exciting things about being forty – *smiles*

So what do I love….

  1.  My confidence, I truly don’t care what people think of me and never do I try and impress anyone…I have learned that not everyone likes us and we don’t like everyone, enough said.
  2. How I look, yes, I have a better physique now than when I was twenty.  Women in their forties take much better care of themselves, its true!  We eat right, exercise and take supplements (no junk food, tanning, or lack of exercise).  We do not take our bodies for granted.
  3. My friendships, they are so real.  I love the fact that I am choosing who I spend time with and who I allow in my life.  Through many lessons we learn that not everyone belongs in our life, we have every right to choose who we wish to share our Journey with.
  4. My soul, who I have become as a person and what that embodies.  I love me, for the first time ever.  I accept me for all my faults and my strengths.  I enjoy time with myself and crave that time when things get crazy.
  5. Success defined by me.  Success is a personal thing and as you get older it becomes more about the Journey than the actual destination.  Success isn’t defined by how much money you have or the car you drive, its more about who you are as a person.  I know plenty of people with big houses, cars and lots of money who I would not consider successful.
  6. Simplicity.  It really is the little things in life that make us happy.  I enjoy waking up early, a hot cup of coffee, writing in my journal, a quick walk in the park, a hike in nature, a hot epsom salt bath, reading, meditation and yoga.  These things really do make my soul sing.
  7. Spirituality, this is personal and private for me but it has brought me much joy while I explore beliefs and teachings.
  8. The Universe, for providing me with all the above.

Forty is just the beginning of a beautiful soulful life.

Namaste’

Improve your life with these simple Keystone Habits

What are Keystone Habits?

Simply put, they are small changes or habits that people introduce into their daily routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.  (Think wellness.)  They spark a chain reaction of other goods habits and can rapidly alter every aspect your life, in a positive way.

Keystone Habits work because they focus on making a dynamic change in your life by producing a trickle-down effect.  Soon after implementing a habit you will notice more opportunities for self-improvement from the Keystone Habits that you’re forming.

Success with a Keystone Habit happens when you take that first step.

Right now, make a list of all the habits you’d like to develop.  Pay close attention to the ones that can have a ripple-effect in your life. Then focus on these new habits over the next 30 days. You’d be surprised at how this small change can generate many positive outcomes.

Example: you start an exercise plan and after about a week you start feeling amazing, so you start to eat better with less processed foods and drinking more water, which then leads to a better nights sleep, which ultimately leads to a better more positive outlook and more energy, less anxiety, depression, exhaustion, etc.  Make sense?  The key here is to keep going, don’t stop because this is your routine.

As always I suggest starting small (stepping stones) because every thing you do that becomes a habit takes repetition and consistency.  If you start too many rituals or habits at once you will lose focus and burn out.

If you are a morning person, I suggest you start with creating a morning ritual for yourself and in turn if you are an evening person, you can do the same, which I call a wind-down routine.

You can gain ideas from my blogs or simply design your own (google can help you).  If you want a more individualized plan, I can hep you.


Keystone Habits can include:

  1. Family dinner with no electronics – have each member of your family report a WIN for the day sharing something positive that happened to them.
  2. Make your bed every morning
  3. Exercise regularly – yoga, walking, hiking, join a gym
  4. Eat healthier and often – fresh foods, greens
  5. Create daily routines – wake with the sunrise, morning smoothie, yoga, no electronics first thing, walk the dog, read the paper
  6. Add meditation to your morning/evening routine
  7. Goal setting – weekly/monthly/daily
  8. Journal your thoughts, goals and gratitude
  9. Early to bed/early to rise – change your bedtime routine to include meditation, a hot bath and a good book
  10. Read, everything and anything
  11. Set financial goals/budget

Start today and start small.  No excuses.

Until soon!

Namaste’

8 Critical Tips for Self-Love and Healing

I know what you are thinking, what is self-love and where do I even begin.

If you Google self-love there will be many articles and blogs that will help you on this topic.  I have read every single one of them, ok maybe not every single one, and now I am a self proclaimed expert on the topic.

We read it, we hear about it and everyone says it...you can’t experience true love and vulnerability until you love yourself.  On the outside so many of us appear to be happy and love ourselves.  However, deep down we struggle with anxiety, we lack a sense of purpose, maybe even suffer from a bit of sadness.  As a result a number of us look to outside sources for comfort or validation.  We live our lives through our children, we focus on our husbands and our families, we over-eat, drink too much, exercise too much, work too much, or we do just the opposite and can’t get out of or own way.

Outside perceptions are not always our reality. I know in my life, looking in the window from the front porch everything appeared “pretty”.  Reality is, that was so far from the truth.  We all have our story and we all know our “truths”.

Self-love for me came after an extremely traumatic event.  Everyone consoling me would say “you have to take care of yourself” or “you need to love yourself” and I had no idea what any of this meant.  Once I discovered the true meaning of self-love I couldn’t believe how I was living in my previous life.  I would say I was functioning but not living.

Self-love takes work.  It is beyond getting your hair done, a nice pedicure and good clothes.  It is beyond what you post on Facebook (GET OFF FACEBOOK if you want to be truly happy).  Self-love is truly getting to know yourself, discovering who you are, honoring that person and always putting that person first above all else, yes even your husband and children.  If you are not living as your highest self, what good are you to those who need and love you.

I encourage you to read some of my older blogs that will give you ideas on how to create a morning or an evening ritual which is such an important catalyst to self-love and living your as your Highest Self.


Below are some tips on how to start loving yourself, today!

Start by honoring who you are today and where you are at this moment. 

Maybe you have anxiety, are suffering from depression, are unhappy at your job, have family life stressors, aren’t happy with your appearance or your marriage.  Wherever you are in your life right now….honor it knowing that with each and every day you have the opportunity to make a change.  Buddha says “every day we are born again”.  What a beautiful concept.

Evaluate where you find your worth and where you look for validation. 

Do you look to external sources – do you thrive off the attention you receive from other people? – does your productivity or your accomplishments define you? – are you a people pleaser?  Self-love comes from validating and pleasing yourself.  If you are always looking for someone else to validate you, you will be continuously spinning on a wheel seeking validation and will feel empty until you receive it.  That love, that feeling of accomplishment, the ability to soothe yourself during a tough time, comes from you.

Know, right now, no matter what you are going through, that you are enough! 

You have everything in you to be enough!

Be kind to yourself, your body and your soul! 

Watch the words you use when you talk to yourself or about yourself.

Exercise:  grab your journal and describe yourself as if you were describing a friend of yours.  Don’t focus or plan what to write, just grab your journal and a pen and start writing and see what comes out.  Are you mostly positive or negative?  Remember how you view yourself is what you are putting out into the Universe.  You will find from this exercise what you need to change with regard to your own beliefs about yourself.

Practice things that bring out your inner calm. 

Gardening, yoga, journaling, blogging, cooking, crafting, singing, meditation.  Your mind and soul need a break from our every day circus.  Soothe yourself with a calming activity.

Allow yourself to heal. 

We all have a story and unfortunately its not always a pretty one.  If you have dealt with any sort of trauma (death, divorce, illness, family dysfunction, childhood “stuff”) and have never really dealt with it.  I encourage you to allow yourself to heal and to forgive yourself and those who have hurt you.  There is nothing more freeing than letting go of the bond that ties you to your trauma.

Let it go. 

Whatever you are holding on to that is no longer serving you, let it go.

My strongest advice is to start a morning/evening self-care ritual. 

See How do you start your day? for ideas.


Commit to self-love and your life with start to change.  Keystone Habits are also a must and we will talk about this in my next blog.

Grab your Journal, put todays date on it and enjoy your Journey to self-love.

Until soon!

Namaste’