Trusting your own wisdom when applying grounding practices
When it comes to self-care, we know ourselves better than anyone else does. Relying on our own wisdom that stems from our prior experiences with grounding, coping and helpful distractions is empowering, and allows us to establish trust in our own self-knowledge.
If we feel that we are struggling in our role as a carer – mentally, emotionally or physically – we should ask ourselves what could help us give a bit of a break. If we can recognize something that would be helpful, that’s great! However, if we don’t have an answer, the next question that can guide us is:
‘What method of grounding worked for us in the past, when things were similarly difficult?’
As mundane or straightforward as this this question may appear, thinking of similar situations that arose previously, and remembering how we got through them at the time, prompts us to recognize that we are capable to manage difficult times. It acts as an affirmation that we have the capacity to overcome challenges and find ways to cope. It also reminds us that ’this too shall pass’, as did our previous hardships.
When issues come up, resorting to trusted methods of self-care can also help us create a habit of relying on certain coping strategies. The familiarity of these coping strategies in given situations will act as a grounding factor in itself.
It is important to take a moment to identify what we need at the present time. Let’s assume you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming consultation or doctor’s visit and you wish to distract yourself and quiet your mind a bit. What can you recall that helped you quiet your thoughts recently, thus allowing your mind to ’switch off’ and relax? If you have the answer, give that a try. Otherwise, start searching further back in time, and think back on how you used to get through anxiety-provoking situations in the past – an exam period, for example.
It may be that you remember eating a certain meal before the big event or recall mumbling a soothing mantra under your nose. You may have found that the scent of a particular candle allowed you to relax or that calling a friend helped to distract you from what was weighing on you. You might remember that you used to listen to an audiobook or watch a TV show that allowed you to focus on something enjoyable instead of your ruminating anxious thoughts.
These are only hypothetical examples to illustrate the potential thought process of exploring what worked in the past, so that you can apply them in your current situation. Consider utilizing this approach when you are overwhelmed and nothing seems like a good fit to help you feel grounded.