“Our Life Is Shaped By Our Mind, For We Become What We Think.” -Buddha
This year has challenged each of us to find new ways to cope with unimaginable change and overwhelming uncertainty. We have had to make daily adjustments to the ways we live, learn, and work in order to get by. These unexpected adjustments and shifts can make our emotional state difficult to maintain. Since the current pandemic, the prevalence of anxiety and depression is on the rise (cdc.org). If you’re finding yourself white-knuckling your emotions, the following 5 grounding tips are highlighted as strategies to go from surviving to thriving.
Using MECCA For Grounding
Mecca is the name of a city and also a word meaning “center”. Use the mnemonic M.E.C.C.A. to remember the following 5 grounding tips:
Meditation trains our brain to refocus our attention and awareness. A simple meditation can help us feel calmer and more at ease in minutes. Try by sitting comfortably with eyes opened or closed and breathe normally for three to five minutes. Notice the breath by observing how the air feels cool with each inhale, and warm with each exhale. Allow any thoughts, wanted or unwanted, to come and go without judgment. For a guided mindfulness meditation, check out this 5-minute meditation.
Exercise produces endorphins, improves sleep, and triggers an overall positive feeling in the body. Incorporating exercise into a daily routine starts with finding movement activities you enjoy, like walking the dog or learning a new Tic Tok dance. My favorite activities include hiking or trying out Zumba YouTube videos at home.
Creativity is a practice that allows us to channel our feelings and emotions into something outside ourselves. It can be cathartic or simply a fun distraction. Try sketching, coloring, or capturing an epic sunset photo to let the creativity flow. I love these 13 craft ideas for teens and tweens.
Feeling connected to others is more important now than ever. Social connection can help decrease symptoms of depression, improve self-esteem, and increase feelings of empathy for ourselves and others. Text a friend or schedule a video call with family. Check out this link for alternatives for connection if the family is opting out of holiday gatherings this year. (Good Housekeeping)
Checking items off a to-do list can lead to feelings of productivity and can increased goal-oriented behavior in the future. Completing a task that has been put off, big or small, can spark feelings of accomplishment daily. No matter the size of the task, celebrate each victory as it gets crossed off the list.
Although we can’t always change the present moment, there are things we can do to improve it. Here’s to bringing a little MECCA (balance) into your life.