Many of us have been on an emotional rollercoaster since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’ve been struggling with feelings of anxiety, panic, and exhaustion, know that you are not alone. Times of uncertainty are stressful and challenging, and everyone must find his or her own way to cope. Whether you’re dealing with a global health crisis or a personal emergency, having the right tools can help you move through distress. Learn how to stay grounded during times of uncertainty with these tips from our friends at Pacific Prime Thailand.
With many science-based benefits, meditation is one of the most helpful and well-known grounding techniques. The beauty of meditation is that there are so many different types, making it easy to find one that works for you. Guided meditation is ideal for beginners since it involves following instructions either in person or virtually. Nowadays, there are many apps (such as Calm and Headspace), YouTube videos, and other guided meditation resources.
Similarly, mindfulness meditation practices involve pausing any internal activity and practicing being present. If staying still isn’t your thing, you might want to try moving meditations like yoga or qigong instead. Whichever technique you choose, practicing meditation once or twice a day can help you to become more mindful in your daily life, especially during difficult times.
Earthing (body grounding)
If you ever feel overwhelmed or detached from your body, you might want to give earthing a go. Also known as body grounding, earthing connects you to the earth through a point of contact. Lying on the earth is best, though the floor also works if you don’t have access to grass, dirt, sand, or stone.
To start this practice, lie down directly on the ground, floor, or yoga mat. Spread your arms and legs out away from your body as you would in the yoga pose Savasana (corpse pose). Let your chest open towards the ceiling by moving your shoulder blades away from your ears and under your body into the ground beneath you. Let the muscles of your face relax and your jaw soften as you close your eyes and allow your head to get heavy.
As you start to settle, focus on the parts of your body that are in contact with the ground. Think about connecting the crown of your head all the way to the tips of your toes. Once you’re aware of the connection, let your body soften as you relax into the earth. Take a few breaths before re-engaging. Notice how your bones and muscles actively push into the earth and how that feels. Enjoy a few breaths here. Alternate between surrendering into the ground and being active several (at least five) times to experience the grounding effects.
A combination of meditation and earthing, mindful walking simply involves walking and staying present in your surroundings. Walking barefoot in your garden, a park, or a forest can help settle your active mind and bring a sense of calm. An added bonus of walking barefoot is that it gently massages the acupressure points in your feet – consider it free reflexology from nature itself. The Kidney-1 (K-1) point in the middle of your foot is one point in particular that benefits from walking barefoot. Be mindful of walking with your whole foot, placing your toes, ball, and heel on the earth.
Most meditation practices use breathing techniques to calm the mind and body. Deep breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is in charge of the activities that occur when your body is resting. It works in the opposite way of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for activities linked with the flight-or-fight response. By willingly changing your breathing depth, rate, and pattern, you can change the messages that your body’s respiratory system sends to the brain.
Box breathing is a simple yet powerful relaxation technique that resets your breathing rhythm and helps you to recenter yourself. Also known as four-square breathing, this easy and effective breathing practice is ideal for stressful situations and can be done anywhere, whether you’re in public or at home. It’s best to start with your back in an upright, supported position and your feet flat on the floor.
Inhale through your nose while slowly counting to four, noticing the air enter your lungs. Retain your breath for four seconds, then gradually exhale for four seconds. Repeat these steps for four minutes if possible, or at least three times. You can also do it over and over again until you feel calm again.
Prioritize your health
Feeling all types of emotions can be overwhelming and tiring, making it essential to improve your mental health to stay resilient. Fortunately, there are many mental health professionals available to help, whether that’s in your area or through virtual appointments. The aforementioned practices can keep your mind grounded and in the present moment. You should also be looking after your physical health through regular exercise and a healthy diet. If you don’t already have a health insurance plan, now is the time to put your health first!
As a leading insurance broker, Pacific Prime offers expat health insurance in Thailand and around the world. Whether you’re looking for individual health insurance or international health insurance, Pacific Prime can compare medical insurance plans to help you find the right policy for your needs and budget. Contact Pacific Prime Thailand for expert advice or a free quote and plan comparison today.