Self-care as a carer series
– re-charging throughout the day –
A grounding practice in its essence is an activity we can implement on a regular basis to keep calm and collected throughout the day. Its main purpose is to help us maintain our balance when things are becoming difficult to manage. As with most things, a self-care practice is not one-size-fits-all; we have to find what works best for us personally. It is supposed to recharge, relax or energize – depending on our individual needs. The point of the practice is to be simple, inexpensive and easy to resort to anywhere and anytime, wherever our day may take us as carers – at home, at the doctor’s office or out-and-about.
The importance of a grounding practice is especially crucial for those working with other people. Putting someone else’s needs ahead of our own on a regular basis is exhausting and can quickly drain us if we aren’t intentional in making time for ourselves. Introducing a simple 5-10 minute routine into our day can act as an instant charger when we feel our mental, emotional or physical battery running low.
The following grounding practice consists of three parts; three parts that are grounding practices in their own right.
Take a deep breath
Yoga, that you can do anywhere, anytime? Focusing on your breath is yoga itself – no fancy headstands or lululemon pants are necessary. Following your breath while deepening it has benefits that could fill books, but the most important one to remember is that it soothes our nervous system – one breath at a time. Magical, isn’t it? In difficult situations, or before handling something challenging, take a few deep breaths: count to four while slowly inhaling, count to four while holding it in and finally, count to four while slowly exhaling – then repeat until you feel the calming, grounding effect. What’s wonderful about deep breathing as a practice is that it doesn’t require additional tools, it can be practiced anywhere and works like a charm if you give it some time.
TIP: If you find that deep breathing works best, delve into the topic of yoga breathing. There are many different breathing exercises to experiment with and they can offer various benefits.
Turn on some tunes
How incredible is it to have our favourite tracks in our pocket, everywhere we go? Another simple, yet effective method to ground ourselves is to have a particular playlist we can listen to when things are difficult. If you wish to be cheered up during the day, make a list of your trusted feel-good tunes; if you feel like you need a bit of relaxation instead, add some calming classics to the selection on your device. Voilá! Your grounding playlist is ready for you to have a listen when things are just a bit too much.
TIP: If you are in need of inspiration, Spotify curates lists based on moods, themes, genres, artists and many more. Don’t hesitate, take a look around and see if a list curated by professionals could be your saviour on a hard day’s night.
Have a cuppa
The classic coffee break – tried and tested. Even on the most hectic days, almost everyone makes time for coffee. It is an affordable and quick treat to look forward to throughout the day – every day. As the name suggests, it ‘breaks’ the day into more manageable parts, making it slightly less overwhelming. Instead of tackling everything all at once, allow yourself to take a breather – and a delicious cup of coffee. Naturally, coffee could be substituted for anything that’s a treat for you personally – tea, smoothie or chocolate – whatever lifts your spirits.
TIP: Experiment and give new blends a try! If you’re a daily coffee drinker, but want to be a bit more adventurous, find family owned, sustainable or organic brands and support them with your daily habit.
Intertwine them all
Why not combine all three? To make your breathing exercise more enjoyable, put on that soothing track in the background. To transform that quick coffee break into a mini lounge experience, turn on your feel-good playlist too. Put 10 minutes aside for you once, twice or three times a day to take a couple of deep breaths, listen to your favourite tracks and drink a delicious comforting drink. When it comes to self-care routines, the simpler the better: these examples are here to inspire you to establish your own grounding practice.