Mindful Mondays: On Solid Ground
On Solid Ground
By Cheryl Klem
A frantic knock came to my front door many years ago and when I answered, I was instantly swept away by the desperation of my neighbor down the street wanting to know if I had seen her 3-year-old daughter. I hadn’t, but immediately joined the search to look in the creek behind their home and to start knocking on every door in the small neighborhood. Within 5 minutes (which felt like an eternity) the toddler was located just a few homes away playing inside with another child whose mother had not yet become aware of the little visitor in their home.
After everyone’s nerves had settled, knowing that the child was safe, I recall her mother saying, “In an instant, everything changed.” She was reflecting on the fact that the family had recently experienced new success in their business and as a result they were building a pool in the backyard and making exciting updates to their home. Talking about this she said, “It’s surreal to think that in just a few seconds all the things I thought mattered don’t really matter at all.”
This instant and sudden feeling of shock brought on by an unexpected and traumatic event floods our central nervous system and can bring about both anxiety and prompt perspective.
For most of us, this pandemic has been such an event. Our health and safety was suddenly threatened, we’ve been cut off and isolated from family and friends, jobs have been lost or significantly redefined, life savings have evaporated (at least temporarily), and an infusion of fear was inserted into the core of our beings.
A sudden flood of emotion brought on by unexpected trauma is experienced typically by most of us in a fight, flight, or freeze response. Anger, fear, and numbness are commonly described feelings. But regardless of your default tendency to get angry, run, or check out, there is one thing that can help us all; it is called grounding.
When we feel out of control, or emotionally untethered, it is helpful to feel physically grounded and mindful of the present. Simple, daily practices such as slowing and regulating your breathing while sitting with your feet flat on the floor, taking a brief slow walk while taking extra notice of the environment, soaking your hands or feet in warm water, doing slow stretches while feeling the lengthening of your limbs, or reciting a favorite scripture, when practiced regularly, can activate our parasympathetic nervous system bringing a great sense of peace and calm to our mind and body and allow us to focus on what matters most.
In addition to managing our stress and anxiety, intentionally fine-tuning our perspective can bring peace in the storm. And not only can we ponder the things that matter most, but we can, going forward, prioritize those things that have been temporarily threatened or taken away now that we are reminded of how important they are.
- Health (Physical, mental, and spiritual)
- Physical Touch
- Life Balance
May this be a time that causes all of us to reach out to God, and with His help, find our way back to a clear view on solid ground.
“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” -Psalm 40:2 (NLT)
For more tips on grounding, go to https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding-techniques#bonus-tips
For tips on coping with Covid-19 anxiety go to https://www.inc.com/entrepreneurs-organization/a-mindfulness-coach-shares-secret-to-coping-with-covid-19-anxiety.html