As we enter into the new year 2024, my vision for this year is to be so fortified in my daily practices that I won't be easily swayed or dismayed by the outer turbulence of the world, but can show up and do my part to help steer it in the right direction. Now more than ever, our world needs people who are connected to themselves and their hearts, and so it is absolutely vital that we have regular practices to reconnect to ourselves and stay grounded. Here are 5 daily practices to help you stay grounded and connected:
1. Movement/Exercise - Get out of your head and into your body! Take some time every day to do some nourishing movement. It could be a quick yoga sequence, some cardio, weight-lifting, jogging, etc. Decide how much time you can set aside, whether it’s 10 minutes, 20, 30 or more. Search YouTube for a workout that matches your time limit, and go for it! Here’s a few that I like:
2. Morning meditation - if you habitually check your phone first thing in the morning, this can clutter your mind with external noise and distract us from our own goals and priorities for the day. Take back your focus and attention by resisting the urge to consume outside information so soon, and instead tune into your own body and breath with meditation. Here’s a morning routine to fit this into your day:
Wake up, sit up and stretch slowly to wake your body up
Use the toilet, brush your teeth, sip some water
Set a timer for how long you want to meditate. I like to do 25 minutes, but even 5 or 10 minutes is fine if that's all you can spare
Sit upright on a cushion, or in a chair with support behind the low back, let your eyelids lower or close, and focus on your breathing. If it's difficult to focus on the breath, you can start with guided meditations or use a mantra, intention, or affirmation to focus on.
3. Intentions, Affirmations, & Remember my WHY - Set the tone for your day by declaring intentions and affirmations. Having a sense of purpose, and knowing your Why can help refocus you on what’s important to you. Here are some examples:
"I am strong and capable, and I can do hard things."
"I choose to let my heart/soul lead the way in my life."
"I choose to be kind to myself and others."
4. Tapping - this suggestion is basically EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), but it can also be as simple as taking a moment and gently tapping over your heart with your fingertips, tapping over the chest, sternum, and collarbones, and breathing into the area, focusing on connecting with your own heart. After taking several breaths and tapping, rest your hands over your heart, and continue to tune into it. Do this when you feel stressed or overwhelmed, too much in your head, or when preparing to have a conversation with someone and want to come from a heart-centered place.
5. Morning hydration - When we’re dehydrated, we can feel un-grounded, flighty, or brain-foggy. The morning is a really important time to drink water because we naturally become a bit dehydrated overnight during sleep. If you usually drink caffeinated tea or coffee in the morning, make sure to drink pure water too, as the caffeine can dehydrate you even more. Start your morning by drinking at least 16 ounces of water. Add some fresh-squeezed lemon juice or a spoonful of apple cider vinegar for some added health benefits.
This year, we may be facing a lot of ups and downs in the world around us and in our own lives, but when we have regular practices to ground and connect us to ourselves and our hearts, we become more resilient and capable of weathering any storm.