Have you taken a moment to be with yourself today? Life seems to move pretty quickly these days. Many parents share with me that they are constantly overwhelmed between texts, emails, school functions, extracurricular activities, and trying to have a personal life! As parents and caregivers, you are navigating many tasks and many roles. (Your kids and teens are too!) Through it all, you likely have a strong desire to be calm parents. Furthermore, you want to be grounded and feel a sense of stability and ease within your family.
I invite you to Stop. Breathe. Feel.
How is this landing with you? You might consider the number of transitions you’ve endured today. What are the various roles you’ve filled today?
Notice the quality of these considerations.
Calming practices connect us to our breath, our body, and the moment, are crucial.
The Power of Calming Exercises
Thu, May 2, 10:47 AM (22 hours ago)
- Lack of focus
- Difficulty sleeping
- Racing thoughts
- Being easily distracted
- Anxiety or worry
Exercises for Self-Care as a Parent
- Stand barefooted on the Earth. Grass, dirt, and riverbeds are great, and if only rocks or asphalt are available, this works too!
- Hula hoop OR do the movement of hula hooping, keeping your feet rooted to the Earth and circling your hips in a way that feels soothing or stretchy.
- Do a set of lunges and squats. Work until your leg muscles feel awake, alert, and heavy.
- Take a slow, mindful walk. Notice each step.
- Lay down on the ground. Rather than a bed or a couch, try laying on the firm ground. Bonus: lay down outside on the Earth!
- Hold rocks, stones, or crystals in your hands. Alternatively, lay down and place the stones on your body in places that feel supportive for you. (I like to put stones on my thighs, belly, chest, and forehead.)
- Stomp your feet while reciting a mantra or affirmation. For example, “I am steady and strong.” (Bonus: Do this barefooted and outside!)
- Hug a tree. Really. Feel how strong and sturdy they are.
- Wherever you are, notice your feet. Pay attention to how they feel and what surfaces they are touching and how they are supporting you.
- Spend time gardening or doing yard work.
- Lay down with extra blankets on your torso. Weighted blankets can be one of the many useful tools for helpful for better sleep.
- Sit or picnic in a park or garden or forest. Let yourself be surrounded by nature.
- Notice your breath. No need to alter or change it, just follow up.
- Eat a meal that includes root vegetables
- Take a sensory journey. Notice what you are seeing, feeling, touching, hearing, and tasting. Take time to inventory and/or engage with your surroundings.
- Practice self-massage or Abhyanga or schedule a massage with a therapist.
- Try a rooting or grounding meditation on YouTube.
- Open windows (or at least blinds and curtains) so that you can see and connect with the elements outside. Natural light can be grounding and energizing.
- Get a pedicure or give yourself one. Give attention and love to the roots of your body!
- Use sandbags to lay across your body as you rest, meditate, or relax.
How to Use These As a Family
Some families I work with integrate select practices into their weekly routines. Other families use this list as a menu that can be consulted at family meetings, during downtime, or even in the beginning stages of a miscommunication or challenging moment.
In fact, the more familiar you and your family become with calming practices, the more likely you will all be to access them as self-care maintenance. At first, these might be a bit more reactionary. You might find yourself using them when you are already overwhelmed or frazzled and anxious. I encourage you to stay patient, though, because as the word practice implies, you will become more comfortable over time and will create easier access to the strategies that soothe, calm, and steady you.
As you dig into these practices, you may also find yourself (and your child) noticing what best supports you. Together, you and your family can build individual support system maps to document the people, places, and things that bring you the most comfort and calm.
This article was first published https://courtneyharriscoaching.com/2018/12/04/20-ways-to-be-a-calm-grounded-parent/