It's been a crazy/great month or so, and I'm so glad to be settling back into something resembling a routine.
One of the first few nights of my trip, in a fog of jet lag and general disorientation, I found myself snuggled up in the guest bed at my friends' home in Barcelona, sipping a cup of tea. I noticed how comforting that felt, because it's what I do every night at home. Without meaning to, that cup of tea has become my daily meditation; it's a time that I just zone out and wind down from my day, preparing to go to sleep. It means I'm done looking at my phone, and I take a few minutes for me, for nothingness. I hadn't realized how much it grounds me until I found myself doing it 4,000 miles away and it made me feel like myself again.
That same feeling came when I took the first yoga class of the trip as well. Like this - aha, there you are- kind of feeling, one I didn't know I was missing til I felt it.
It really struck me how important our rituals are. Whether we realize we have them or not, whether we're traveling or not, we need these little touchstones throughout our days to bring us back to ourselves - to feel grounded.
If you look up a wellness article about grounding practices, you'll find a lot of mindfulness activities - things that you can mostly zone out for, or zone in, depending on how you look at it (painting, meditating, gardening). You'll also notice that the opposite of feeling grounded, is - you guessed it - anxiety. In my experience coaching clients with anxiety, and working my own way through it as well, taking a few moments to ground yourself before bed is THE MOST effective way to ensure you get a good nights rest and anxiety doesn't keep you up watching the clock.
But where else does anxiety pop up, and how can a grounding ritual help you there? Can anythingbecome a grounding ritual??
I was talking to a client today about anxiety around air travel, so we explored this idea. What kind of ritual can she build into booking the flight? How about when it's time to pack? Heading to the airport? Getting ready to board? So on and so on. Identifying the places where anxiety comes in, and preemptively finding a routine or ritual that gives you space and comfort can help you stay even throughout. But it's exactly these kinds of little habits or rituals that are easy to look over, to not realize how important they are, or to think we're silly or self-indulgent for working them in.
So what if you just gave yourself permission?
It might mean sitting with tea at night, or coffee in the morning, and doing nothing else. It might mean always getting ginger ale on the plane (that's me) or journaling in the airport. It could mean telling your travel buddy you're gonna do your thing and just meet them at the gate. It might mean negotiating a TV-off time with your partner or roomie. It might even mean getting up earlier, leaving earlier, or getting into bed earlier, to allow yourself time for YOU amidst your day.
What rituals do you already have? What rituals can you build into your day? What rituals can you bring with you wherever you go?
Time to make some tea.
Still a few spots in the upcoming retreat- snag yours now before they're all gone. Spring is coming!!