Stressed? Relationship-Saving Tips to Get Grounded

Tightrope designed by Luis Prado from the Noun Project

The #FlashbackFriday series highlights popular older PbK posts that previously were only available to newsletter subscribers. 

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The last month has been an absolute whirlwind! Between conferences, weddings, and visits with friends, I spent 14 days travelling. Add moving into the mix and I was feeling totally drained. As a result, my creative energy basically disappeared.Rather, it was folded into boxes and bags, left of buses and trains, and tucked away into hotel rooms and friends’ apartments. Writing was impossible. My communication skills were pretty dismal. And I spent most of my time feeling totally ungrounded…which of course led to me being cranky and irritable and short. <–no pun intended

As you can probably guess, my relationships took a bit of a hit.

Perhaps you’ve been here too. You get wicked stressed and rather than focus on  doing what you need to feel more stable and energized, you take it out on those closest to you. Perhaps you feel embarrassed about it (just me?) because you “know better”  or guilty because it isn’t fair. While these technically can be true, shame, embarrassment, and guilt aren’t the most productive emotions. I’m not saying to resist feeling them but rather to not lose yourself in them.

The question is what the heck can you do?

The simple answer: go back to what works. Take the “I’ve been here before and therefore should know better” and put it into action. What techniques, tricks, and tools have helped you get grounded, energized, and de-stressed in the past? Though it can be hard to remember these in the moment, practice them whenever you can. That way, in moments of stress, overwhelm, frustration, and confusion, these techniques can be more a default response than yelling at your beau or bestie or momma over something trivial. #guiltyascharged 

The more complex answer: yourself grounded.

Grounding 101

When we get super stressed or overwhelmed or frustrated, we tend to want to get rid of those feelings. We label them as ‘bad’ and ‘negative’ and try to run or pass them along to our partner or friend or the Whole Foods cashier. Unfortunately, research shows this response has the opposite effect and actually prolongs said emotions!

What can you do instead? Below are my current three favorite tips for getting me out of ‘ajfk;daueijf;dsk’ and into ‘ohm.’

1) Get out.. Go outside barefoot and stand or walk directly on the earth. Ideally, you’ll be in some grassy place but pavement is just as effective for the city-goers out there. Close your eyes, press your feet into the the earth, and take 5-10 breaths. If you want to, visualize roots growing from your feet into the earth and all the way to the core. Prefer to move? Stomp around and shake out your arms, legs and feet. You might look goofy but you’ll feel better.

2) Tap it out. Emotional freedom technique (EFT or tapping) is my new favorite go-to practice for when life feels like its spinning out of control. You can read all about it here, but it helps you to first be present with whatever you are feeling and then release it. Honestly, its kind of fun and easy to do just about anywhere.

3) Feed your soul. As you’ve likely noticed, certain foods can affect your mood.Now I’m not talking about stress-eating here but rather consciously choosing to use food as medicine. Foods high in Omega-3s are good for relieving anxiety. Root veggies and salty foods are great to help ground you. Other fruits and veggies provide lightness and clarity. I always feel better after a big green smoothie with some nuts and a side of something salty (and potato-based…).

That’s it! Those are my three current go-to techniques that I’m practicing practically daily. The more I do it now that things are settling, the better prepared I’ll be when the crazy times set in again. And so will you.

In the comments, share your go-to tip for getting grounded during stressful times.

Your Partner in Passion,

Kait