I’ve decided to turn this into a whole little series of posts: read the others here and here. This transition is always particularly rough on me, maybe because I thrive so much in the summer and, while I love fall, it’s hard not to feel the impending dread of winter. Chicago is especially merciless: fall can bring a balmy 72 degree day followed by a bitingly windy 47 degree one. Then it’s just a hop and a skip til I’m waiting for the bus in the dead of winter, wanting to cry because of my Seasonal Affect Disorder but being afraid the tears will freeze to my cheeks.
My last post was about routine and how important it can be for putting a restless mind and body at ease, and it’s because the act of establishing a routine is so….
When I say grounded, I mean feeling relaxed, at ease, and connected: with yourself, the people around you, and the flow of the Universe. When you’re not grounded, you get fearful, anxious and unsure about your path–seems like most everyone’s pretty ungrounded these day, huh! Here are my favorite ways to get yourself a little more grounded:
Your skin + the Earth
Remove (physical and emotional) barriers from yourself and the Earth. When you spend time in nature, your body recalibrates to a more natural state automatically. Your body and mind begin to recognize that hey, my surroundings are telling me the seasons are changing, I’ll begin to do x,y and z to prepare! Being close to the physical ground imparts solid, stable energy. Take your shoes off and walk in some soft grass or sand. The way we move when we’re barefoot is much more natural and anatomically sound–it’s the way we were meant to move. Tiny muscles in your feet work to keep yourself balanced over uneven surfaces, and the soles of your feet actually absorb minerals from the ground! Crazy, right? go for a nighttime walk while gazing at the moon, or canoodle in the newly fallen leaves.
Your skin + other skin
The act of being touched is another incredible tool. How often do we make skin-on-skin contact with someone else? Handshakes and sex, if you’re the average person today, which is absolutely not enough for us to thrive. In recent years, I’ve become a big proponent of hugging. It only takes 20 seconds of contact with someone for your brains to release oxytocin, the bonding, feel-good hormone. A 20-second hug is all it takes!
What’s better than hugs? Skin-on-skin contact. If you happen to have a partner willing to get their kit off with you, have at it. Snuggle in, avoid electronics (no Netflix) and ground the crap out of each other. Sex optional–maybe even avoid it for the grounding sesh (imagine that!). Spending time naked without sexualizing the experience is so nurturing for the relationship and mental wellbeing.
If you’d rather be alone, book a massage or just get nude with yourself! Try sleeping in the buff after a spectacular bedtime or shower routine.
Get in touch with your root chakra
The chakra system is a complex and wonderful thing. Here’s the down’n’dirty explanation: chakras are energy centers that lie along the midline of the body beginning at the base of the spine. This first chakra, your root chakra, governs your sense of security, your ability to relax and feeling like you belong, among many other things. Making sure this chakra is balanced will help with all those uncertain, in-your-head feelings autumn can bring. Some super easy ways to balance this chakra are wearing or surrounding yourself with the color red, sweating it out with some vigorous exercise, or using scents like vetiver, ylang ylang or sandalwood. There are also lots of chakra meditations you can do, if that’s your bag. I highly encourage doing some research on your own if this interests you at all: understanding your chakras can yield really powerful results in tons of aspects of your life.
Alone time: Spend some
There is nothing that quite evokes compassion, groundedness and recentering like spending time solo. I am one of the hermitiest of the hermits, so I learned this early on and often take it for granted.
Setting aside a day, a morning or an hour can work wonders on finding balance, but the key is not to cruise Pinterest while you’re doing it. Take a bath, journal, sit in silence, go for a walk, take a nap. If you want to level up the nourishment, slather yourself in coconut oil, do a yoni steam, masturbate…whatever makes you feel connected with your body.
Because it’s the answer for everything! Kidding (half kidding), but try incorporating standing poses and hip openers into your practice. Anything strong and stable: Mountain pose, Warrior II, Goddess, and Tree are a few of my faves.
Also, any forward folds–they’re a part of a group of energetic poses called langhana poses, which means they facilitate release, calming and grounding, and are awesome to do when you feel nervous or insomniatic. Try folding forward and bending your knees deeply so that your torso drapes over your thighs. Then grab opposite elbows and let your head hang heavy, like a piece of ripe fruit. Bam, langhana.
That’s it for installment 2 on how to transition to this lovely season. Stay tuned for what fall food swaps you can make to keep uber balanced in autumn: Read it here.