Have you ever gone for a walk in the garden without shoes on? Remember what it felt like, as a kid, to come home from school – slip out of tight school shoes and walk barefoot? Whether it was on comfy rugs, soft sea-sand or lush grass, the sensation often felt so good because we were grounding ourselves.
A quick Google search will tell us that there’s a lot more happening when we walk barefoot. The exchange and release of energy are scientifically measurable, and the experience has a positive impact on our health.
As adults, we often forget to walk barefoot – and we often forget to keep ourselves well-grounded. Liz Fosslien, Author, Speaker, Head Of Communications and Content at Humu, recently shared some helpful thoughts on this through her LinkedIn profile.
She said that when everything feels up in the air, rituals can help us ground ourselves.
Research shows that rituals significantly reduce our stress levels. Psychologists have found that it doesn’t even matter what the practice is; simply doing the same thing at the same time can improve your mental health.
Whilst some of us do all we can to break free from structures and systems, the hidden truth is that structures can increase our sense of security and wellbeing. This means that it’s not the structures or rituals that are the problem but our connection to what they mean or represent. If we have little or no connection to the schedule or routine or feel like we don’t support the system implementing those routines, we can leave and create our own routines.
If we look over our lives, we will see that we’ve always had routines that help us stay grounded, and that’s okay! But, as we encounter change, our routines can be interrupted, leaving us feeling untethered and stressed.
It could be something as simple as saying to yourself, “My work is complete for today” at the end of every day of working from home. You will be affirming that you’ve achieved something for the day and that you can now let go and relax, focussing attention on other things in your life that make and keep you happy and healthy.
Maybe it means beginning your day with a 7-minute workout, or winding down at night with Wordle. It could be a weekly practice of reviewing your budget and planning the meals for the week ahead.
On the flip side, it can also be helpful to intentionally let some things go. Perhaps, instead of feeling untethered, you’re feeling overwhelmed with too much to do. Fosslien shared the story of a friend who, ahead of moving across the country, decided to order takeout for dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays and not worry about cooking. “I gave myself permission to put some parts of my life on autopilot,” she recounted.
If you feel like you’re losing track, perhaps you need some grounding. Let’s chat if you think that might help, but take a moment to consider the things you enjoy doing and the people you enjoy spending time with, and make sure you’re regularly making time for that. Oh yes, and walk around barefoot once in a while!