Being a caregiver is challenging. So what can you do to meet the challenge? Find ways to ground. And what does that mean? Marilyn O’Malley in her Huffington Post article, How to Ground Yourself and Why, writes:
“Grounding is a quality, goal or value that connects you to yourself, your body, breath and mind and then to the earth. It allows you to be more authentically in your body, in the present moment, and receive nourishing energy.”
Grounding encourages and deepens feelings of calmness, safety, and security, which in turn can help you manage your stress level. There are many ways to practice and when possible, you can even practice with those you are caring for.
Earthing As One Form Of Grounding
Earthing is the practice of connecting directly with the earth through skin contact with bare feet or hands. You can read more about the practice here.
Those of us able to stand firmly on our own two feet, walk barefoot in the grass or on sand at the beach can experience grounding through direct connection with the earth. If we are able to transfer from standing to sitting to lying down we connect even more of our body to the earth.
But what if you or the person you are caring for are unable to transfer up and down off the ground? What if the feet go no further than wheelchair footrests or if parts of the body are missing or movement is limited due to surgery or a health condition? Where there is a will, there is always a way. Missing or nonfunctioning body parts can still be experienced energetically. If this is your lived experience, or the experience of someone you are caring for, try the Roots Visualization instead.
Roots Visualization For Grounding
Research suggests that practicing visualization promotes relaxation, enhances sleep, reduces pain, and increases creativity. The Roots Visualization is one of my favorite practices for grounding. Feel free to record this in a device and play it back whenever you need to ground. You can shorten or lengthen the visualization to practice by yourself or to share it with those you are caring for.
Direct your attention to your legs and feet (physical or energetic) to sense a deeper connection to the earth, floor, or wheelchair footrests beneath you.
Begin to visualize roots growing from your body, starting from the base of the spine. Feel roots reaching down through your legs through the bottoms of your feet to pierce through the earth’s crust.
Visualize your roots branching and spreading, growing stronger and reaching deeper into the earth. Sense the strength, support, and the stability your branching roots send back to fill your entire body.
With each inhale begin to draw in strength, support, and stability. Allow the feeling to deepen your connection to the physical world and your place in it.
Draw the quality of grounding through the bones of your feet and legs to the base of your spine all the way up to the crown of your head. Feel your entire body safe, secure, stable and connected.
When you attune and ground yourself in the moment you can be present in your body, and meet your challenges.
Beth Gibbs, M.A, C-IAYT, is an author, speaker, yoga teacher and self-awareness trainer. She has published a personal growth book for adults titled, Enlighten Up! Finding Clarity, Contentment and Resilience in a Complicated World and a children’s book, Ogi Bogi, The Elephant Yogi. She blogs at bethgibbs.com