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Five Ways to Find Grounding

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I had a bunch of ideas for articles this time around. I was going to write about delegation, then inspiration, then emancipation. Maybe not the last one but it rhymed so I had to go with it.

But the truth is I was in a rut. I had relinquished my official Little Miss Cutesy Comedy Productivity Princess title to whoever else wanted it. I had slowly but surely poked several small pinholes that let air out in different directions in the enthusiasm floaty, and was slowly sinking into the pool of apathy below. I saw it happening, but the apathy had already taken over so much of my personality that I didn’t have much fighting spirit left inside to keep myself from submerging completely.

I had lost touch with the enthusiasm that usually didn’t let me stay in Rutville for long. So I wallowed and waited. And even though misery loves company, I knew better than to make those happy people around me miserable. I wanted to be reminded not everyone is in a rut and hoped some of their enthusiasm would inspire my own to rejoin me, so we could get back to the way things were.

I tried to reassure myself that these phases are normal and I just have to wait it out. And, while there is some truth to that, the bigger truth is that you’re the only one who can get to the root of your rut and start to take the steps to get out of it.

In my case, I got lucky and my health started getting funky. I know it sounds like an unlucky thing, but it was the spark I needed to start the journey out of Rutville. My deep-seeded love and respect for my body meant I needed to reinvest in my mind and spirit to do everything I could to help heal my body.

I realized that I had lost my grounding. My life had gone through a number of major changes and I was getting pulled in all directions in usually positive ways, so I hadn’t noticed that I was slowly losing myself in the process. So I had to make a commitment to find grounding again.

I’m happy to report the train has left Rut Station. And it’s in huge part thanks to these five small tools that help me daily.

  1. Meditate

I’ve always been a big proponent of meditation and not at all picky about what type you’d like to do. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re consistent with it. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you change it up every time you sit down to meditate because your brain will have more to think about. With more thoughts arising, you’ll have a harder time getting to that wonderful quiet space. So choose some method that feels best for you and practice it consistently.

If you’re at a loss for where to start (and are ballin’ on a budget), I’ve found several free meditation apps, sites, and even playlists on Spotify Premium.

  1. Breathe 

This is different than meditation. Most notably because it can be safely done while driving.

Breathing is something we so often forget about. A few deep breathes can change our perspective which can change our interactions which can change our mood which can completely transform the outcome of our day. When I find myself tense or nervous and anxious, I go out of my way to breathe.

How about a deep breath right now? I’ll wait.

Seriously, I’m waiting. I’m not moving on until you…Good.

  1. Journal

You can call it a “diary” if you’re really holding onto your middle school years and keep lists of the boys you have a crush on in the order you like them. It doesn’t matter to me. Whatever you want to do to have a conversation with yourself is helpful.

I write a lot so this is often the first thing to fall by the wayside for me. But when I write, I’m writing it to share with others. When I journal, I’m finding time to connect with my own wants and needs. Sometimes I just write that I don’t know what to write. Sometimes I have pages of wants or fears.

When I find myself skipping this vital part of my daily routine, I know I’m ignoring a little voice inside me that wants just a moment of my time. Too much ignoring of that voice and we’re headed to Troubletown.

  1. (Re)Connect

Check in with yourself and make sure you’re doing alright. It sounds silly, but sometimes you can find yourself already halfway down a path that no longer serves you. Or just going through the motions of what you thought you wanted but now brings you no joy.

Remind yourself why you are where you are and ask yourself if that’s really where you want to be. Sometimes it helps to have these conversations out loud. And often it’s helpful to have them in nature. Because, believe me, nobody at the beach is going to judge you sitting there talking to yourself. There’s plenty of like-minded folks around you.

  1. Exercise

I have a lot of energy. If I don’t exert it, it goes somewhere. Often, it turns into repression and hides somewhere in my gut, sneakily waiting for someone to cross me so I can let it all out. When I let it out in some healthy way (running, lifting, dancing, sports, yoga, whatever), my energy balances out and I’m more even-keeled and effective throughout the rest of the day. Everyone’s level of energy and interests are different, so you’ll need to discover what makes your heart sing and what brings you the most balance.

Because when your body is balanced, it’s happy and healing itself. And a happy body is enough motivation to bring even a wallowy brat like me out of a deep rut.

Briana Hansen

About Briana Hansen

Briana Hansen is an enthusiastic actress, writer, and comedian originally from the midwest who now lives in Los Angeles and loves every moment of it. She trained in improvisation and sketch comedy for years in Chicago and continues to perform and study it in LA. She creates a constantly evolving comedic solo show “Femoir” which has been produced at major comedy theaters and festivals all over the nation for several years. She continues to produce it in bi-monthly in podcast form and onstage periodically. She performs sketch comedy regularly at The Second City with TMI Hollywood and does stand up gigs at major (and minor) venues throughout the city. Her first novel, “Cartoon Confessions,” will be published in spring 2014. She is currently producing and starring in a comedic web series she wrote called “The Other Client List.” She is a major sunscreen advocate.