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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Young

4 Ways to Welcome 2021 with Greater Calm & Less Anxiety (hint: dieting is not one of them) *fre

During the last two Januarys, my dear friend and colleague Amanda Marks and I led New Year’s retreats in the mountains of north Georgia. It was a beautiful weekend filled with self-care and alternative ways to enter into a new year (like not dieting and learning about intuitive eating instead). Our hope was to help each guest return back to “real life” feeling nourished on every level with a renewed sense of self, and to feel more grounded as they enter into the new year.

Unfortunately, we are not able to have one this year due to covid, but I am sharing some tools on my blog this month that we tend to discuss at our retreats. My hope is that it helps you start your year in a way that feels truly healthy – mentally, physically and emotionally.

How to enter 2021 feeling more grounded:

  1. Resist diet culture and consider a non-diet, intuitive eating approach to nutrition. This one is for all facets of your health since diets stress and cause damage to your physical, mental and emotional states. And this time of year, the diet industry (a roughly $90 billion industry) is out to get anybody who is feeling insecure about their food and/or bodies right now. Going on diets (and this includes diets in disguise like Weight Watchers that market their programs as “lifestyles”) destroys the metabolism and are not sustainable, which is why most dieters end up gaining the weight back and then some. They can cause other major issues like isolation, hormonal changes increased irritability and can lead to eating disorders (see another blog post on more about why you shouldn’t diet here).

Diets sever your very important connection and relationship to your body.
  1. On that note, feed yourself well. The link between nutrition and anxiety is a powerful one, and it is something I have been talking about at length this year, since anxiety and depression are higher. In a nutshell, if we are not eating enough food (particularly carbohydrates which is ridiculously and unnecessarily demonized in our society), we will feel freaked out and the opposite of grounded. One of my clients’ biggest motivators to stay nourished is that they know they will feel more emotionally regulated. This doesn’t mean they don’t have hard emotions or stress – it means they can deal with them in a calmer, more rational way. It’s a nervous system thing – to read more about this mechanism, go to my other blog post here.

When you are nourished, you are better equipped to deal with life.
  1. Spend time in nature regularly. When we spend too much time in our thoughts (which is so human BTW) we lose connection to our bodies and anxiety/depression likely increases. And taking time out (whether it’s 2 minutes, 2 hours or 2 days) can make a notable difference. This can mean going for a hike and/or simply stepping outside into your backyard if you have one. And if your mind stays busy even in nature (like mine), pick a sense (like sound) and engage it as much as you can (for example, “I hear birds, I hear running water, I hear wind, etc.”). This gets you out of your head, into your body and better able to be present in beautiful nature.

To become un-grounded means to become un-earthed, so we must connect with the earth to re-ground.
  1. Try grounding mindfulness tools, such as:

  2. Square breathing (inhaling for 4, holding in for 4, exhaling for 4, holding out for 4, and repeating four times).

  3. Forming a daily or weekly mantra to write down to keep somewhere visible. Here are some grounding mantra examples: “I have the right to exist and take up space.” “I am at home in my body.” “I am grateful for my legs, they support me on my journey.” “My roots are strong.” “I am calm and grounded in this moment.”

  4. A guided meditation (the free gift): Brief Grounding Meditation for Anxious Thoughts. Be sure to play on your desktop for the best quality, and enjoy!

These are just a few examples of tools falling under the vast category of mindfulness. For more free tools, click here, and for more information on why mindfulness (including yoga) can help us strengthen our relationships to our bodies and selves, click here.

Mindfulness tools can facilitate the process of re-establishing connection to our bodies and ourselves.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have found something to be helpful as you move into the new year.

If you are struggling with your relationship to food, your body or exercise, I would love to work with you. Please send me an e-mail at and we can set up a free discovery call to see if we are a good fit!

In true health,




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