First there was Superstorm Sandy, then the election, followed by a Nor’easter. It seems we haven’t had a second to catch our breath before now being launched into the holidays. Here’s how to get grounded, slow down, and regain your footing. In both Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, rapid change and feelings of unsteadiness are attributed to the wind element (vata in Ayurveda). The opposing element is earth- grounded, stable, and certain. Read on for my top 5 tips to feel more grounded during times of change.
1) Set Routines– just as small children benefit from routine, so can we when things seem uncertain. Pick a set period of time, for example, 1-2 weeks, and make a commitment to wake and go to bed at the same time every day. You can also do things like eating the same food for breakfast every morning, such as warm, soothing oatmeal with nuts and cinnamon.
2) Eat grounding foods– this is all about warm, dense, root vegetables, which are in season right now. Chinese Medicine works with the energetic qualities of food- root vegetables speak directly to the kidneys, which are in control of our adrenals (stores of energy). So if you are feeling depleted, things like root vegetables are best. Try this Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe.
3) Meditate– people are often intimidated by the idea of meditating- they most often tell me that they simply don’t know how. One of the simplest ways takes no special training or equipment. Simply sit in a comfortable, quiet spot, set your cell phone alarm for 10 minutes, and close your eyes and concentrate on your breath for this short time. That’s it! When (as you inevitably will) you notice your mind starting to wander, don’t judge yourself, just observe the thoughts and re-focus on your breathing. This is also something that is best to do at the same time every day.
4) Self-Care Routine– this can be anything, including regular acupuncture sessions, going to the gym or your favorite kickboxing class or getting a massage once a month. The idea is that this is a practice in which your physical body is activated, which tends to make the mind less active.
5) Focus on Gratitude– in keeping with the Thanksgiving holiday, this is the perfect time to become very conscious of all we have rather than all we believe we are lacking. Keeping the focus on what is abundant in our lives makes us feel more grounded, safe, and secure. For one week, commit to writing down something you are grateful for at the end of the day.