I don’t know about you but the last month has been crazy! If you are sensitive at all you’ve felt the collective angst and fear as it oozes through social media computer screens and into our homes. We’ve also had some chaos at home and within my family reflecting the world around us. Physically, it has felt like living in a rocky one person boat bouncing around in the sea. Emotionally it has felt like all my emotions are raw and on the edge. I have felt tremendous anxiety and anxiety I have learned = too much energy running through the system.
After finding out that my friends in Florida are safe and okay, but many without power, I felt my body sigh with relief. I could relax now. I had no idea I was still in flight or fight and thinking unclearly until this morning after a fitful night sleep, over-warm and overtired, I woke up and glanced at the clock thinking it was an hour later. I overslept! I flew open the bedroom door. Where was Nathanial? Did he leave for school? He was still here! Fifteen minutes after the bus would already have left. In a panic I called my husband at work, who had my car (his battery died the night before, ironically to add to the chaos). He was able to rush home for a break to take Nathanial to school only to realize that he was right on time. We both thought it was an hour later. After the kiddo went to the school bus stop and Ben back to work, I thought, Damn, I’m fried. I am really ungrounded and need to fix this.
That’s what the Fight or Flight and one thing after another does to your system. It makes it all frazzled and funky and time gets confused. In the news we’ve had wild protests with Nazis, solar eclipses, Hurricane Harvey with a town under water, political decisions that have unnerved us, and then a huge hurricane of the century that gratefully, didn’t live up to its predictions. Never mind the poor folks in the hot zones of the storms! It’s enough to throw anyone even with the strongest of cores.
Grounding is all about imagining that you have a tree trunk attached to your core and the roots go deep into the ground. You are connected to the earth. Steady and strong. You are in your body and in your feet. When stuff is happening many creative and sensitive people tend to fly up and out, half in and half out. It’s comfortable out there. We grab ideas and inspiration. When we are in the midst of craziness or disruption in the world, we automatically unground. Watching the overwhelming floods and winds, it’s no wonder we wouldn’t want to connect to Mother Earth, who seems a little pissed off. So what do we do? We need a new sense of grounding. We look at what creates structure, order and brings calm back in. Here’s a couple of suggestions I’m about to do.
What helps you feel calm, safe and taken care of? When I think of comfort, I think of my soft blanket my grandmother sewed for me, Cobi’s fur next to me, and a warm bath while listening to my favorite music. When I’m ungrounded what I really want and need is to feel nurtured. I have my touchstones — my favorite t-shirt I can wear, a turtle necklace I’ve had forever I can throw on.
Don’t Add Stuff
This is not the time to add new things. When taking on something new you need courage and strength from your core. When you are ungrounded that part is feeling vulnerable and a little wobbly. I was tempted to add new groups online. That one online workshop sounded interesting. Nope, not the time. Need to get steady first.
Get Back to Routine
I have that one special coffee mug I like to have my morning drink with, and that bagel or english muffin I eat like clockwork every day. Maybe it is OCD to like the same things, but it creates structure for me. A bit of yoga poses to a video might help me feel more “in.” Going to the studio at the same time creates structure. Back to my animation lessons’ neatly organized homework structure helps. Blogging here every Tuesday is part of the groove.
Notice the Trees
I’m a fairy girl so being near trees nurtures me. Going outside and staring at the huge healthy pines that surround the house and are still standing helps me feel all is okay in the world. I grab my camera and take photos of the next door neighbor’s babbling brook, the butterfly that just landed on a desert marigold. Nature is calming and it also can take away a great deal of nervous energy that has been bouncing around in my body like a pinball machine.
Get Back on Track
Life gets crazy, stuff happens, and it’s easy to lose track of what YOU wanted to do and what matters most. As an empath I can get pulled into everyone else’s story and forget I even have one of my own. I take out my book proposal. The animation book. The book I found on Multiple Intelligences and how people learn. I keep a bullet journal with pictures so that helps me to refer back to what I am needing and what I originally wanted to focus on. It’s even fun to gather the pictures, cut them out and arrange them in the book.
Watch What You Eat
Sure, eating a ton of sugar is the go-to when I’m stressed out, but the resulting rollercoaster of blood sugar afterwards is not worth it. When my blood sugar is haywire so is my reactions and emotions. I am best with lots of protein and several small snacks and regular meals throughout the day.
Feel My Feet and Get Rid of the Extra Energy
Dancing really helps me get into my body and out of the emotions. Painting for fun helps me process out all those excess emotions that are mine vs. not mine. I start out in a frenzy of paint splashing everywhere and an hour or two later the calm comes in and the insights. Ohhhhh, that wasn’t even mine I was feeling? Yup.
And lastly, Renew
Calming down a bit I can fill up with what nourishes me including animation that is clever and fun. I found a bunch of interesting stop motion videos. Watching these helps me get back on track and replenish with what feels uplifting and good. I’m going to be sure not to fill up with more Facebook feed pictures of hurricane devastation, which ungrounds me more, because then I have to start this list all over again!
Being self-aware that I am sensitive and take on too much that is outside of me when things get crazy is the biggest first step to self care and probably should be first to recognize before I start on my grounding list. To know thyself, correct? Noticing this I will need to limit my involvement with the world a bit until I am back on my feet.
Off to tackle this list. Incidentally, in church on Sunday we learned the power of words — how words can help or heal. We were asked, how can we give the gift of words? We had a bit of time to reflect and in my analysis I realized this is my gift outward, this blog, this gift of words once a week to try to help one other creative and sensitive soul. In a way, it’s my tithing to give back what I have been given. I do hope it helps.
Until next Blog Tuesday, (and be sure to follow the blog or sign up for the newsletter),
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