The hustle and bustle of the holiday season in a normal year can get to anyone and can make it difficult to stay grounded and centered. A pandemic’s restrictions to keep us all safe, it just adds to the normal chaos. Most of us do not just celebrate Yule but also Hanukah and/or Christmas or Kwanzaa. With limited gatherings and few to no celebrations, stress can overcome us more than usual.
My house of worship, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, NJ has been following the Soul Matters monthly themes. This month’s theme is “Stillness” and it could not be a better one to remind us to relax and stay grounded during this time of the year.
We need to remember to stay grounded and centered all the time, but especially now. The days are shorter, it is too cold to stay outside long and gathering safely indoors has its limitations. Staying focused is important, yes. Nevertheless, how?
Take a deep breath and step back from it all. It is easy for the commercialism to consume someone even in a time of social distancing. Decorating the house, trimming the tree, buying gifts then wrapping them, writing cards and baking, it all can be overwhelming. Then with all this, there is the emotional strain of not being able to connect face to face with loved ones.
It is an exciting time, families and friends will exchange presents probably by mail and will still meet just by Zoom or another virtual platform. Not seeing people in person and attending the usual affairs like the annual Ugly Sweater Party can be a real downer. The trick is to keep your feet on the ground and not run amuck like a chicken without its head.
Here are some ways to keep grounded through this season and any time you need some stillness in your life. For a quick grounding, run your hands under the water faucet washing away the stress and access energy. This could also work by taking a shower. Focus on clearing rather than the 70 other things hamster wheeling around inside your head. Any water source is good use for grounding, since water pipes drain back into the Earth. Depending on the cold weather and where you live, walk barefoot on Mother Earth or lean up against a tree. This not only grounds you but also brings in good energy. Music, any type, can also ground you.
Meditation is also a great way to ground if you can escape long enough to do so. Some people fall asleep while meditating. However, meditating yourself to sleep is a not a bad idea. One of my favorite methods, which my elder taught me in my other group Three Fires Grove, is the tree grounding. A method I feel is essential for grounding and additionally, works well for energy sending. Every December I make sure to pass this method along to my CUUPs chapter UUCM Sacred Wheel at UU Congregation at Montclair.
In summary, you visualize yourself slowly turning into a tree while incorporating all of the elements in the process. Imagine your toes turn into the roots and wiggle them down through the earth to the water underground. In doing so you expel the negatives – including any pain, frustration, irritation or worry, and take in positive energy from Mother Earth. This has helped keep me grounded even in the most stressed times.
Another thing to keep in mind is something my late elder taught me. Tasks can pile up and seem overwhelming, especially during the holidays. Always keep in mind to take on one task at a time and do not look at the big picture. Tackle each one by one and be surprised at how quickly the pile will dwindle down.
So while this pandemic is getting to us all and bringing on new challenges, sit back and find the stillness to keep yourself together. Make the best during the rest of this crazy year and keep your feet on the ground. Take a deep breath, ground yourself, you got this and repeat.