Simple grounding practices to share as a family in 2021

Simple grounding practices to share as a family in 2021

5 simple grounding tools to foster more connection & calm as a family

When times are tough, let’s look after ourselves… and each other. 

I’m a firm believer in self-care for mums. As mums we need time-out to refill our mental and energetic resources (our energy bank balance) so that we have the resources left to give out to those around us. We all-too-rarely give ourselves permission to pause, but we really can’t pour from an empty cup. I’ve been there myself. In the early days of motherhood, I learned the hard way how neglecting my needs, by trying to be the “perfect mum”, left me exhausted, depleted and “shouty”! Far from the mum I had hoped to be. 

SIMPLE GROUNDING PRACTICES TO SHARE AS A FAMILY IN 2021

cheerful young woman relaxing on rocky coast of ocean GROUNDING PRACTICES
Photo by Daniel Torobekov on Pexels.com

Learning a range of different mini-practices to help ground me in the moment, shift my mindset, soothe my frazzled nerves, foster more self-compassion or simply boost my energy has been life-changing. I just wish somebody had taught me these practices as a kid! It could have saved me a lot of stress and heart ache. 

Right now, under lockdown, big emotions are flying around many a house, up and down the country. And with an intensity many of us are not used to. If your household is hitting some turbulence, you are certainly not alone. Right now we all need soothing and supportive tools to help us ride the storms – and what better way than to practice them, than together with our kids? 

Time to yourself as a mum and an opportunity to practice solo-self-care is essential. But there are also many benefits in sharing self-care with our children. It can be a great way to actually make it happen, when time to ourselves is nigh-on impossible, and a brilliant way to build resilience and connection together as a family. 

Connection is the currency that keeps a family unit healthy, and so by sharing self-care practices we can boost that connectivity and create opportunities to share feelings and emotions more authentically.

There are lots of simple self-care tools we can share with our children, and you will find many bite-sized audios and videos on the Nourish app (a wellbeing app for mums). Here I wanted to share just a few of my favourites:

Firstly, I wanted to share 2 simple breathing exercises using our hands, that we can do anytime anywhere to help soothe and calm ourselves and cope in the moment. Because when we breathe better, we feel better. 

SIMPLE GROUNDING PRACTICES TO SHARE AS A FAMILY IN 2021

GROUNDING PRACTICES

4 part hand breathing

Bring your hands into a gentle fist. As you breathe in, open your palms, and notice a tiny pause. As you breathe out, make a gentle fist. Keep repeating. Opening and closing your hands in time with your breath. If you can, start to slow the movement of your hands and your breath. Repeat at least 5 times or as many times as needed.

You can find a guided video version of this exercise here on the Nourish app.

Take 5 breathing.

Hold up your hand in front of you with your fingers spread out. With the pointer finger of your other hand, trace around each of your five fingers. As you breathe in, move up the finger, as you breathe out, move down the other side. Each finger gives one lovely deep inhale and exhale. Moving all the way across your hand and back will give you ten lovely deep breaths to reset your collective calm & energy. For even greater connection, as your child to trace around your fingers or vice versa. 

SIMPLE GROUNDING PRACTICES TO SHARE AS A FAMILY IN 2021

GROUNDING PRACTICES

You can find a guided video version of this exercise here on the Nourish app.

Mindfulness is about being in touch, non-judgmentally with the present moment. It is the art of shifting out of auto-pilot and conscious living. It allows us to not only capture the moments of joy that can so easily pass us by in our busy, always on lives, but also help us get out of our heads and stop worrying about the future or ruminating on the past. Mindfulness is a muscle that we can strengthen every day – even better from a young age. And that doesn’t have to mean engaging in a solo-silent-sitting meditation. It can be about bringing the skills of mindfulness into our every day. 

A really simple way to bring us into the present and out of our heads is to use our senses. We can use each sense in turn or just one of them. Try these really simple exercises that don’t require you to sit in any particular position or even find a place of quiet (which is sometimes impossible). But can still strengthen that muscle of bringing you into the here and now.  

Naming the colours

photo of dried flower on flower vase GROUNDING PRACTICES
Photo by rikka ameboshi on Pexels.com

This is a super simple example of a practice kids of all ages can get involved in, using your visual sense. It’s a great one to do on the move too – maybe on a walk or in the car. Simply challenge each other to name all the different colours you can see right now. 

A variation on this is to pick a colour and count how many times you see that colour or just note it. Again this is a great one to practice on the move.

54321 Senses

This practice uses all 5 of our senses to help us tune into the moment and notice what is happening right now. By using our 5 senses in this way you’ll feel more grounded, calm and present and more able to relax. 

Simply be still and notice 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell or taste and 1 thing you notice about your present moment experience. Say them out loud to each other to reinforce your awareness and be as detailed as you can. 

You can find a guided audio version of this exercise here on the Nourish app.

Finally an incredibly simple and soothing practice I love to share with my kids is the hand on heart gesture. This helps us all foster love and security in our hearts and is again great to turn to in those really tricky moments to help us cope or navigate some strong feelings.  

Hand on heart

Place your hand on your heart. Take a moment to feel the warmth of your hand against your heart. Notice how the simple sense of touch is soothing like a mini hug. Take a deep breath in and as you do so, gently pull back your shoulders. On the out breath simply tune into that warmth and if you like you can repeat some simple mantras such as: “I am loved” “I am OK” “I am safe” “I am only human” “I am held” “This will pass”.

If you prefer, you could instead put your hand on your child’s heart, and they can place theirs on yours. This is a beautiful way to really strengthen the love and connection between you. 

My kids love to share the hand on heart gesture at bedtime, combined with 3 long deep breaths and some mantras. It’s a brilliant way to pave the way for a restful night’s sleep and has become a non-negotiable ritual for my daughter. We share this simple sequence of mantras, but you can choose your own: 

“I am safe, I am loved, I am held. Sleep will come, till then I rest”. 

In times of “lockdown” it’s easy to feel anything but grounded. Our entire lives have been uprooted and turned on their head. Grounding into the present moment and connecting with ourselves and those around us, at the same time, is a great way not only to weather the storm but also to learn important life skills.

Sara Campin is a mum of two, a personal development coach and Founder of Nourish, a new wellbeing app for mums offering bite-sized wellbeing & calm in your pocket.

SIMPLE GROUNDING PRACTICES TO SHARE AS A FAMILY IN 2021


Sara is on a mission to empower parents to look after their mental health & wellbeing so by making self-care easy and accessible for them. The Nourish app is a curated library of on-demand videos, audios and quick reads across mindfulness, breathing, yoga nidra, psychology and more, all tailor-made for mums by a team of wellbeing experts. The app is available for iOS and Android and is FREE to download and explore.


She is a passionate advocate of all things that nourish the mind and believes we all have the potential to achieve our personal and professional ambitions and find greater harmony and balance in our busy lives.

www.thenourishapp.com

IG/Fb/Tw: @thenourishapp

SIMPLE GROUNDING PRACTICES TO SHARE AS A FAMILY IN 2021