How good are you at staying grounded when routines change? If you said, “not very,” then congratulations! You’re part of a big club.
And there’s no need to judge yourself.
With the arrival of September, many of us experience a shift in our lives. Even if you don’t have kids in school, there is something about the marking of the end of summer and the beginning of fall that can throw all of us off a bit.
So what can you do to find strike balance once again?
The Importance of Staying Grounded
There’s a lot to be said about staying grounded and centered. When you’re in this space, you have more control of your emotions and the capacity to process thoughts and emotions, and better accept the path you’re given.
You’re better able to stay focused on the present moment, maintain balance, increase your sense of self-worth, trust yourself, and have a stronger sense of purpose.
This is not to say, of course, that you will never get upset or experience worry. Let’s face it – there’s plenty going on in the world to distract us and even bring us down. But when you’re grounded, you’re less likely to get sidetracked or completely thrown off-center.
And even if you do get riled, you’re able to quickly find alignment once again.
Why Changes Throw Us Off Balance
When we have a fairly set routine – even if it doesn’t look like the same thing day after day – we’re able to more easily stay with a regular schedule of sleeping, eating, work, and exercise.
Many of us get into a routine during the summer months when the kids are home, the daylight hours are longer, there’s a wealth of fresh produce to enjoy, and we may partake in more regular outdoor activities.
Then autumn comes and we’re suddenly juggling work and school schedules, getting thrown off sleeping patterns, settling for more “comfort” food, struggling to get work done in the midst of it, and forgoing those outdoor activities as the days get shorter and colder.
Soon enough, you experience this sense of imbalance in the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of your life.
Keys to Staying Grounded When Routines Change
There are some simple ways to finding grounding when you start to feel things moving off-kilter.
Taking a walk, doing some yoga, or just simply moving are all helpful. You could toss a “worry stone” in your pocket and rub it with your fingers when you find yourself ruminating on worrisome thoughts.
Recite the alphabet or count to 50 slowly. Recite a poem or a song – either to yourself or out loud (depending on where you are, of course). Or listen to calming music. Even holding a blanket or pillow, or just running your hands under cool water can remind you to calm down and get grounded.
These are all effective launching points. But you could also take three other very fundamental actions to come back to center when routines change.
1. Be Patient and Compassionate With Yourself
What happens when a friend or family member gets thrown off by the events of life? Do you criticize, judge, and scold them? If not (and we’re imagining you don’t), then try treating yourself as you would treat them.
Be kind, compassionate, and forgiving when you’re feeling out of balance. Easier said than done, right?
We get it. But one of the best ways to learn how to view negative events in a self-compassionate manner is to remember an event where you gave yourself a negative evaluation. It could be something like eating an extra muffin on the way to dropping the kids off at school when you were stressed.
Now, consider how you would express compassion and understanding and what you would tell your best friend if he or she did the same thing. To be clear, this isn’t a ‘one and done’ deal. This requires practice. But when done with regularity, you will eventually discover your transgressions are not that bad and won’t get thrown off balance so easily.
Once you’re able to consistently quiet your inner critic, you’ll feel more rooted.
2. Practice Mindfulness
When we focus on the present moment, there’s no space to consider the past (dwelling) or the future (worrying) which can tip the emotional scales. So what does it mean to practice mindfulness?
Well, most people immediately think about meditation and are terrified at the notion of sitting still and being quiet. That ISN’T what it means to be mindful.
Mindfulness encourages us to keep our focus on what matters. Sure, it could be paying attention to healthy eating, exercising, or engaging in positive activities. But it could be simply focusing on the breath for a few minutes too.
In fact, once you learn the basics of mindful breathing, you can apply it to your everyday life. Even if you only do it for five minutes per day! Take advantage of free apps to learn elementary ways to start practicing mindfulness.
And if you find it difficult to tackle mindfulness on your own, attending yoga and meditation classes can also be a great way to start working on it, but in a group setting.
3. Give Thanks
When routines change and life is suddenly busy, it’s all too easy to get mired in negativity and feeling overwhelmed. It’s during these times that gratitude can be so helpful.
According to studies, having gratitude makes us happier. But it also allows us to be more grounded too. Particularly if you’re able to effectively start shifting your attention from the negative to the people, things, or events for which you are grateful.
Start by considering a few things for which you’re grateful and write them down. See if you can put words on the feelings around those things. Doing so will help you to organize and process your thoughts. It will also help to calm and clear your mind and ground you.
Again, this action takes practice. So as your routine is in the midst of changing, you don’t need to further bog down your busyness by introducing a dogmatic and rigid dedication to a new practice. Commit to even just once or twice per week to start. Then see where it goes from there.
Could You Use More Grounding?
Staying grounded when routines change is difficult. But doing so will make the transition so much easier.
As we enter the autumn months, if you find you’re having trouble striking balance with a new routine, a life coach can be of tremendous value in helping you manage your time.
So whether you’re looking for a coach to help you individually, or would like to discover the many benefits of yoga, contact us. We’ll come right to your business, organization, or school or zoom with you remotely.
Make us a healthy and balancing part of your new routine!