Simple Techniques to Stay Grounded During the Grieving Process
Many types of losses can leave us feeling totally uprooted and disconnected from ourselves, our family, and our community. What grief and those who mourn are consistently teaching me is that this uprootedness can call into question things that have seemed part of our solid foundation. Relationships, church, work and even hobbies can feel as if they no longer “fit” with who we are in the present moment. It can seem as if nothing that was of interest is even remotely interesting anymore. It can be hard to stay grounded in an unsteady season of loss.
What does it mean to be grounded?
According to Psychology Today, characteristics of being grounded include being content with who we are, having confidence in oneself ad one’s decisions, practicing mindfulness, releasing the “what ifs,” maintaining mental and emotional equilibrium, staying focused in the present moment, being in touch with oneself including recognizing one’s self-worth and being connected to the natural world.
But when we are feeling totally uprooted with grief, it can be hard to locate ourselves in our changed world.
Grief takes a lot of inner energy. If you find yourself in this position, the first thing you can do is acknowledge your sense of exhaustion amid your uprootedness. Even if you are sleeping well, taking time to relax and rest or taking naps, you may still feel an overwhelming sense of low energy.
While reading through the qualities of what being grounded means may be helpful, even that may feel overwhelming in a season of loss. It can seem impossible to know where to begin to regain your sense of inner and outer balance.
Do you remember learning to ride a bicycle? Or perhaps learning to swim? Those first experiences were unsettling. Your body and mind need to find a new kind of balance. The experience of being atop a bicycle or buoyed by water was something entirely new – and there was no way to grasp it all at one time. It was a process that included hesitation, moments of sheer uncertainty and practice. It took time to build confidence in your body and yourself as you learned to swim or ride a bicycle.
While it may not feel like it, time really is on your side as you adjust and find your way. Time and practice. You can choose to put into practice small actions for just a few minutes a day to help reset your body, heart, and mind. To ground. Here are a few things to try:
Spend time in nature.
Spend a few minutes with your bare feet touching the earth.
Move your body. Walking, yoga, swimming, hiking, floating in a kayak.
Focus on staying hydrated as well as eating a healthy diet.
Journal, meditate, pray, spend quiet time with yourself.
Read poetry, scripture, writing that brings you inspiration.
Take a shower or bath; being in water can be restorative.
Rest, get a massage, take radical care of your body.
There are many other ways to regain your sense of connection to yourself and your life. This season of feeling ungrounded is uncomfortable. As much as you are able, be patient with yourself. Give yourself time and extra care. While it may feel as if you need to rush through your grief, giving yourself the time you need can lead to new discoveries and possibilities. Dig into your curiosity and look for ways to find your footing again.
Share any other grounding practices that work for you in the comments below.
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