Centering Our Mental Health Today

By ena ganguly

As we wrap up the year, here are some reminders for you so you can better manage your mental wellness as the year comes to a close:

Being around nature

I find a lot of peace in being in nature, especially when I’m around trees. All trees are grounded and most trees are ancient and have been around longer than our own grandparents! Try to touch a tree the next time you are outside. A way to do it is by choosing a tree and touching it, close your eyes if you want, and breathe in. This is a practice you can do when you are feeling really strained. It can give you the space you need to re-ground your energy, mentally and physically.

Give love to your feet

Draw attention to the sole of your feet, you can wiggle your toes or even give your feet a nice massage. You can do so by getting you favorite lotion and oil, rub it in to the soles and tops of your feet and dig your thumbs and knuckles into grooves of your feet that feel good. You can also try massaging the tips of your toes. If you are someone who doesn’t have toes or feet, feel your sits-bones, the base of your spine or your pelvis, and feel it relax against the ground (or couch, pillow, bed, etc.). You basically want to draw attention to a part of your body and give it some love, so feel free to choose any part of your body, whichever feels best for you.

Mindfully breathing

Breathe from your chest and belly and exhale out all the stress and feelings that don’t serve you right now. Expand your lungs to take a full breath. Once you reach the top of your breath, where you can no longer breathe in, release air from your mouth. I invite you to close your eyes while doing so. If any thoughts come up, let them, but also let them go, if you can.

Engaging in Conversation

Always remember that you don’t have to keep what you’re going through all to yourself. Even if you feel nothing but empitness, give others the chance to hold you, emotionally or physically. Talking about what you’re going through allows you to acknowledge it for yourself with someone else as witness. If you can’t talk to someone, write it down somewhere, like a journal or even a scrap piece of paper. Free write. Write it out and then maybe read it out. See if this helps. 

Listening to my needs with compassion

This is the most important one for me because it has been a continuous lesson. I’m still learning, honestly, and it’s not easy. I’m not consistent. For so long, I internalized this nasty voice that pressured me to get over things, to not feel, to be strong, tough, so that I couldn’t acknowledge my feelings and surrender to the process I needed to get to a better place. It started with me bringing awareness to my inner voice, and to ease up on myself, mentally, when I felt like I wasn’t making things easier for me to process. Instead, I started asking myself, ‘How do you feel?’ and ‘What do you need?’ which led me to gain a better understanding of my emotional state and my needs. Then, I practiced respecting those needs. This need could be needing silence, so not watching television or talking to friends. Or it could be cooking food for myself or drinking more water. Whatever it is, it’s important for me to respect my own capacity and needs, which change depending on how I feel. 

I hope these tips help you understand ways to ground yourself as you navigate through life. How do you practice grounding? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram (@allgoqpoc) and Twitter (@allgoqpoc)!

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