3 Signs You’re Not Grounded

And What to Do About it


Lola Medicine Keeper, Grounded Healer

Think you’re “grounded”?

Think again! If you’re feeling/experiencing any of these three things;  you may not be as grounded as you think you are. But fear not! There are simple remedies to get grounded ASAP; which is vitally important if you want to maintain your health, vitality, and focus in the New Year.

How to tell if you’re ungrounded:

1 | You’re burned out.

You can’t muster up enthusiasm or energy to get things done that used to excite and invigorate you. Whether it’s playing with your kids, cooking dinner, reaching out to your clients, marketing your work, or even going grocery shopping… if you’re dragging your feet and procrastinating these things, it’s a sure sign that you’re burned out (and ungrounded).

The remedy: Sleep.

Rather than trying to “fix” the problem of being motivated and force yourself not to procrastinate any more, it’s time to “do” something radically different. It’s time to rest, restore, and rejuvenate. When you’re deep in burnout mode, it can be tempting to just keep pushing through; but all that does is fatigue your adrenals and run your system ragged. You need (quality) sleep! You need s-p-a-c-e!

Try carving out time for a nap, or heading to bed earlier than your normal bedtime. This is a process of “un-doing”… and it may just be the MOST productive thing you do all day! Sleep is deeply restorative, and most of us do NOT get nearly enough these days, and what sleep we do get is often shallow; meaning we don’t spend enough time in REM.

Tips to help you sleep better:

  • Put your mobile phone in Airplane Mode, or better yet, stash it in a different room.
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule, keeping the same sleeping hours everyday (including weekends).
  • Take a 20-30 minute “catnap” in the early afternoon when possible (wake no later than 4pm for quality nighttime sleep).
  • Reduce or eliminate your caffeine, alcohol, and/or nicotine intake (we substitute Ceremonial Cacao for Coffee in the mornings for gentler stimulation).

2 | You’re getting clumsy/injured.

Getting more bruises than usual? Bumping into things? Dropping things or having near-miss accidents? Forgetting things? You may be moving too quickly. The quick pace and hurried nature of our modern lives forces us to move fast; not a speed that’s necessarily natural to us (certainly not ALL the time or for sustained periods). When you’re moving intentionally, you end up being much more efficient in the long run; getting more done with less time needed for recovery).

The remedy: Intentional movement.

To practice intentional movement, we love a practice known as a “Fox Walk”, a walking meditation we learned from Jeff Nixa’s fabulous book “A Modern Shaman’s Field Manual”. Here’s how to walk like a fox and practice slowing yourself down to counteract some of our cultural speediness:

  • Find a quiet outdoor space, whether it’s a park, a hiking trail, or your yard. If it is unbearably (unfoxably?) cold where you are, you could even do this inside.
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes (easily done on your phone).
  • Take off your shoes.
  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, and feel your toes, heels, and balls of your feet firmly contact the ground.
  • Gently transfer your weight to one foot and s-l-o-w-l-y lift the other from the ground.
  • As you lift your foot, do so by first releasing your heel, then the ball of your foot, then your toes; rolling through your foot to release it from the ground.
  • Now, place that foot on the ground in front of you SLOWLY, stepping onto your heel, then up the side of your foot to the ball, and finally, the toes.
  • Take each step in this way, moving as slowly as possible as you transition from one foot to the other.
  • In 10 minutes, you may only walk 4 or 5 feet in distance!

This practice is a great reminder that how you get somewhere is at least as important as where you’re going!


3 | You’re addicted to Social Media

Find yourself scrolling through Facebook and Instagram for far longer than necessary? If you’re on social media for more than 10 minutes a day (and you’re not spending that time writing posts or commenting), then you may have a subtle (or downright apparent) addiction to Social Media. Don’t feel badly, it’s not totally your fault!

Social Media has been built to stimulate dopamine, a neurotransmitter in our brains that’s responsible for us being productive and motivated, even when there’s not an immediate payoff. This is why you feel so “busy” and like you are doing something useful, even when you’re just scrolling through the news feed. But, alas, it’s NOT actually all that productive, and over time, there are diminishing dopamine returns, meaning we need to spend MORE time on social media to get the same feelings; and the experience is less and less satisfying.

Digital activities are inherently ungrounding, since they occur in the virtual realm and not here in physical reality. You aren’t even aware of the chair you’re sitting on, whether you’re breathing or swallowing, or which room you’re in most of the time you’re online, right? (Us too, no shame in admitting it!)

The remedy: Breathe.

Meditation can help our brains produce more dopamine… By now most of us know the benefits of a simple meditation practice, but it’s often hard to stick to. Even 5 minutes of solitude can feel like squirmy torture.

This is because we are all up in our heads, and most meditation practices put us in our heads even MORE! One of our teachers, Javier Regueiro, says that sitting meditation for people who are in their heads too much is like giving crack to an addict (we’re paraphrasing, but you get the gist).

This box-style breath practice helps you ground in your body and get out of your head.

Rather than releasing thoughts, this simple meditation brings you embodiment.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Find a comfortable, quiet place and lay down. It’s a great way to begin your day after waking up!
  • Begin to gently breathe through your mouth (don’t be afraid to breathe noisily, this is also a remedy for taking up space).
  • Set a timer for 5 minutes.
  • Begin to breathe, box-style. This means that you breathe for the same amount of time on the inhale as you do for the exhale, with a break of the same length between each breath…
  • So, the pattern is: inhale-pause-exhale-pause (repeat); each being the same approximate length of time.
  • Continuing to breathe through your mouth, “box” breathe for 5 minutes.
  • If you like, you can place your hands on your heart and belly to further connect you with your body.

You may notice your hands tingling, or your body twitching or shivering… Intentional breathing infuses your system with oxygen and helps you detox, so it may be a little intense – especially at first!

Through intentional movement, taking time to breathe deeply, and getting more rest, you’ll be grounded in no time!

What other grounding practices do you enjoy? And what other ways can you tell that you’re NOT grounded? (Eating too much sugar? Snapping at your kids or spouse? Hazy-feeling focus?) We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Lola - Creator of Wildly Amazing Things at WildPlayground.com

Through her courses and programs, Lola Pickett empowers empaths  to rewire their brains, behavior, and bodies so they can create sustainable success & happiness. She is the published author of the Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot and founder of EMPATH*ology™—her outrageously popular 10-week online course.

Her offerings blend cutting-edge neuroscience with trauma healing AND playful adventure to create powerful and lasting results. When not facilitating transformational work, you’ll find Lola on a hike, wildcrafting medicines, and loving up on her husband and kids in the mountains north of San Diego, California.

Lola's a Communication Empath.
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  1. These are great ways to tell if you’re ungrounded!  #2 hit home for me–when I’m ungrounded I tend to move very fast, always rushing from one thing to the next, and I can literally feel my energy bouncing off the walls.  I’m also super forgetful and pretty flighty.  As soon as I notice it, it’s a call to slooooow down.  Love the Fox Walk–will definitely give that a try.  For me, Child’s Pose is also supremely grounding.  Melting into the floor (or even better, outside on the actual ground) with my third eye.  So grounding I actually dreamt about it once when I was feeling ungrounded.

    Also literal grounding is my go to.  Bare feet on the ground (hello Fox Walk!), toes in the dirt, hands in the dirt, hug a tree, lay down and stare at the clouds.  I’ve found it doesn’t matter how you do it or how long you can do it for, anything helps.  Sometimes all I have time for in the morning is a quick touch and acknowledgement of a leaf on a tree in my front yard and sometimes that’s enough.

    • Thanks, Jess! Yesssss, any little bit will do; a little grounding is far better than none! And even a few moments is a great remedy to the “all or nothing” mentality many of us are plagued with. Glad you resonated with what came through here. I tend to move too quickly when I’m ungrounded too. Tigre always calls me out on it, and I don’t like it; but usually he’s right! ha =)

      Sending you big hugs!

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