As I sit here in a quiet coffee shop, reminiscing over this past year, my mind quickly turns to the myriad of ways both my spirit and mental health have been uprooted out of a safe space, and into a place of unease and worry. This is normal, they say. We’re two years into a pandemic, I’m one year into college, and I’ve spent a lot of time bearing witness to the world’s chaos and polarization that continues to widen. Feeling emotionally displaced is a common feeling right now. It is a state of being that is familiar to many, including my friends and family, and even myself. I bet the stranger next to me in this quiet coffee shop right now is feeling it, too. But thankfully it’s blogs like this one that act as a palpable reminder that we’re never alone in how we are feeling or what we’re experiencing, especially during these challenging times.
Life will always find ways to unravel what once felt like solid ground. But never underestimate your own ability to cultivate a feeling of groundedness. It does not have to be achieved through an intense 30-day meditation and mindfulness program. In fact, I turn to the things and people I love the most to feel grounded again. Why? Because they bring me into the present moment and fill me with joy, laughter, and clarity.
What helps you feel grounded? Journaling, hiking, spending time with friends, sitting on my back porch, making jewelry, thrifting, and having self-care nights: these are the things that help bring me back into the present moment. They lift my spirits and bring me back to a safe space.
Try one of these three practices the next time you’re feeling unsettled or struggling to be present:
Journaling. Try journaling, and stick with it. For a while, I was unable to journal because I would find myself filtering my thoughts and emotions too much. I had to remind myself that my journal was a safe space for me to be vulnerable and unapologetically me. Be consistent with journaling, and be patient with yourself – soon, you won’t even care how messy your handwriting is or how messy the thoughts are because they’re solely and beautifully your’s.
Hiking. I live right outside of Boulder, Colorado. If you don’t hike here, you might get dirty looks… just kidding. But to be honest, if you’ve never tried hiking before, you may be surprised at how calming walking through nature can be for the mind. You don’t need a fancy hiking trail, either. It can be a trail five minutes from your house, or a hike into the Rocky Mountains – for me, it’s all about just getting out of the house and into nature.
Spend time with friends. Throughout the pandemic, I have found and been reminded of who my people are. My people are kind, funny, determined, vulnerable, supportive, and so very lovable. I can always count on them to bring me back into the present moment. Whether I need a shoulder to cry on, a rant session, a distraction, or an adventure, I remind myself of the importance of leaning on my people to feel grounded. There is power in being in the presence of those that care about us.
So I ask you, what grounds you? What brings you joy? What draws you back into the present moment? I hope you can find some comfort in the ways I’ve shared, and that you find new ways to ground yourself, too.