During such challenging times we are all working on our mental health. It has become into a MUST, hasn't it?
Self-isolation might be hard, especially for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, as they are twice as likely to experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety compared to hearing people.
You know that just having a walk outside would help, but now that we have to stay at home, we need to find ways to pull away from anxiety and negative emotions "from the comfort of our homes"... And to do this, we suggest you to start practising Grounding.
You’ve never heard of this? Well, keep reading ...
Grounding, or earthing, is a practise that could help you cope with distressing thoughts in the moment. And what a "moment" to start it!
Grounding techniques will help you to elevate the mood, clear your mind, reduce emotional stress and re-charge your energy, and as with everything in life, it gets more effective with time.
Please keep in mind that the relief is generally temporary and obviously a therapist will offer the help you need if you are really struggling with your emotions. This is no substitute for professional help where this is needed, but can really help in the short term for people who are otherwise mentally fit in challenging times.
You can start practising Grounding with simple techniques as follows:
TAKE A COLD SHOWER
As you have heard many times, a cold shower has many health benefits. It increases immunity, reduces fat, and elevates the mood. If you can't picture yourself taking a cold shower, just try to turn the water temperature control from warm to cool for the last 30 seconds of your hot shower.
“BE WATER”, MY FRIEND
Put your hands in water and focus on its temperature and how it feels on your fingertips, palms, and the backs of your hands. Use warm water first, then cold. Next, try cold water first, then warm. How does it feel?
HOLD A PIECE OF ICE
What does it feel like at first? How long does it take to start melting? How does the sensation change when the ice begins to melt?
With your eyes closed, inhale while visualising the air going into your lungs and then exhale, follow the air leaving your lungs and exiting your nose or mouth. Practice this from 1 to 10 minutes. This exercise is so effective!
“COVER YOUR CROWN”
For some reason, it does work! Just place one hand over the crown of your head, close your eyes and avoid all distractions. Do this from 30 seconds to 1 minute. That's it. Did it work for you?
THE 5-4-3-2-1 METHOD
This is one of my favourites! When you feel anxious or worried the only thing you have to do is to bring your attention back to the current moment with a very simple grounding exercise:
Look around and identify and name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear (if you are deaf or hard of hearing try to find 3 things you can feel the vibration of, such as speakers, the computer or the window...), 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste.
TAKE A WALK
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, just have a walk in your bare feet, only 10-20 minutes during a break time will serve you well. If you live in a flat, like me, work on concentrating on your steps. Notice the rhythm of your footsteps and how it feels to put your foot on the ground and then lift it again.
There are many more easy Grounding techniques to do during self-isolation to help you re-focus and lift your mind, such as sitting with your pet, visualising your favourite place or listing positive things. Just relax and let it “be”. We are human beings and not human doings after all!
These are difficult times for all of us, but they are temporary and will not last, we can be sure of that.