– 3 tips for grounding yourself when feeling distracted and ‘off your game’

Are you feeling more distracted lately? With our latest lockdown I’ve been feeling like I’m going a mile a minute and nowhere at the same time. Sound familiar?

A case in point – last week I sent out an extra newsletter. Apparently I was too distracted to notice I’d already published two Heart Notes newsletters in April. I normally publish the first and third Thursday of the month.

Distracted (according to the Oxford dictionary): unable to concentrate because one’s mind is preoccupied. Preoccupied, diverted, inattentive, vague, absorbed, engrossed.

What are your strategies for soothing and grounding yourself when you are unable to concentrate? Here are three tips that I find helpful.

Tip 1 – Get outside

Go for a walk, work in the garden or even sit on your deck with a cup of tea or coffee. Being in nature has many benefits. According to this article by the Credit Valley Conservation, “Studies show that being in nature or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, anxiety and stress. Spending time in nature reduces blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.”

Tip 2 – five moments of joy

While you are outside, look for five moments of joy. Notice how your body feels when you see them. A moment of joy is seeing (or hearing or smelling or feeling) something that gives you pleasure. It might be a cardinal in a tree, the colour of a new leaf, a child’s smile, the sound of the waves on the shore. A moment of joy is about noticing and connecting with a positive body sensation.

I started this practice of looking for five moments of joy several years ago. I was walking to my daily radiation treatments. This practice helped me to feel less overwhelmed and sad about having to go for treatment. Looking for five moments that brought me joy, plus stopping for a delicious latte from a local, independent coffee shop helped me to arrive at my appointment feeling I was rocking it!

In looking for moments of joy we are training our brain and body to look for joy and to recognize the feeling. It helps us to ground, be in the present. When we are looking for joy we see it more.

Tip 3 – Make something

When I’m feeling distracted/preoccupied/diverted/inattentive/vague … working with my hands to create something is both comforting and grounding. For me working with colour and fibres, whether it is knitting or rug hooking or spinning or my latest obsession wet felting is what comforts me and helps me to focus. I’ve written about the benefits of creativity in this previous post 3 tips for Heart Lightening.

Woman's hands spinning red curly locks on a spinning wheel.
Working with my hands to make something is grounding. Photo by Kelly Clark fotography.

How can I help?

If you are looking for writing prompts and other resources to connect with your creative self, take a look at my two books. Reach out to me if you’d like some help designing a wallhanging that is a reflection of what you need right now.

Are your team members feeling stressed and anxious? I can help with this and improving your team’s sense of connection. Let’s have a chat.