We often describe the process of divorce as navigating some of the most important decisions of your and your family’s life while the ground is shifting under your feet.
It’s hard to make these decisions when you are not feeling sturdy. Feeling ungrounded can make you feel more vulnerable and oversensitive in all areas of your life. Often, you feel out of sorts and more affected by the events happening around you. But, when you are grounded, you often make wiser decisions, feel more focused and are more present with those around you.
So, how do we stay grounded?
1) Acknowledge it
We need to acknowledge (although we may not like it at this moment) that transition is a part of life. As Chinese Philosophers said, “Life is movement and movement inevitably leads to transition, even taking a step forward is a change…Transition is the natural progression through life.” By internalizing the fact that transition is a part of our everyday lives and we already handle it regularly, you have taken your first step.
Sorry, this isn’t about drinking alcohol…drink water. Dehydration can lead to symptoms of anxiety, brain fog and a feeling of being ungrounded. Experts say you should drink ½ your body weight in ounces a day (i.e. weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces) plus an additional 2 ounces for every ounce of coffee or alcohol you drink. Here’s how the math works if your math brain isn’t quite turned on yet:
If you weigh 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day.
If you have two 8-ounce cups of coffee a day and one 4-ounce glass of wine at night, you need to add 20 oz of water to your total.
Therefore, your total ideal water intake for the day is 95 ounces!
3) Belly breathe
Deep belly breathing helps stimulate your relaxation response and releases endorphins that make you feel good. To try belly breathing, put one hand right above your belly button near your lower ribs and your other hand on your chest. Take 5 deep breaths with a slow 3-second inhale through your nose and a 6-second exhale out of your mouth. When you inhale, feel your stomach push against your hand as the air fills the deepest point in your lungs. The hand on your chest shouldn’t move. Exhale through your mouth while tightening your stomach muscles.
4) Get physically grounded in nature
Standing on the earth in bare feet (otherwise know as earthing) has been shown to increase antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and improve sleep. Take a walk out in nature and turn on your senses – breathe in the (hopefully) fresh air, appreciate the sounds, discover the minutiae of the flowers and leaves. In the evening, look up at the stars and reflect on how small and transient our problems are in the vastness of the universe. Simply getting connected to nature and the broader planet can help ground you physically and emotionally.
NOTE: If you have diabetes, it is not recommended to go barefoot.
5) Use scents
There are several essential oils that can bring comfort and grounding to your life. Try essential oils such as:
- Lavender: Can eliminate nervous tension and induce sleep
- Bergamot: A relaxant that may help with depression
- Earthy basil: Can promote mental alertness and lessen anxious feelings.
As with all essential oils, make sure you understand the potential risks and methods of use before trying.
6) Embrace it
Place your hands on your heart and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Sometimes, we just need to be in the moment with our feelings as part of the healing process.
7) Find friends
Sometimes just hearing others acknowledge your thoughts and feelings can ground you. By realizing that others have experienced similar events in their lives and moved forward from them successfully, you can gain a sense of validation and grounding.
Finding your feet again can be a long and difficult process but, with a little help and some additional tools in your toolkit, you can get there. Remember, tomorrow is always a new day!