Recently, NPREd posted an article about an organization called CARE that helps teachers find peace and serenity in an increasingly stressful profession. 

The entire article is beneficial (and can be found here), but I wanted to call your attention to a specific activity they reference that can help ground you, focus you–and no matter what stressors you are experiencing–will bring you directly back into The Present Moment.  The article indicates that the activity, which is called “Take Five” is used with small children, but I’ve practiced it now for months and it really works.*  I’ve written myself about how using your senses can ground you here, but this activity also relies on your using sight, sound, and touch to anchor you in the moment.

Here how it works:

Whenever you find yourself feeling stress or an increased sense of overwhelm, stop and “Take Five” by following these three simple steps:

  • Look around and notice five specific things you see
  • Shut your eyes and noticing five specific things you hear
  • Tune into your body and noticing five things you are touching

The five things you see could be a clock on the wall, a student standing by the pencil sharpener glued to his phone, or even an empty water bottle on the floor by a desk.

The five things you hear could be laughing in the hallways, a truck backing up in the parking lot, or the movie playing in the classroom next door. 

The five things you feel could be your arms against your clothing, your bum wiggling on your chair, or your feel squirming in your shoes.

The beauty of it is that every time you practice this exercise, your experience will be different because your present moment will be different.

Hence, the grounding.
The purpose of the exercise is so that you will use your senses to figure out what your immediate experience is and to “pull you back” into the present moment so that you feel more anchored and less overwhelmed. 
As we head into the holidays, with their entertaining little Yin and Yang of stress and bliss, it is even more important to stay grounded and to keep an even-keeled temperament so that we may navigate with grace the dips and bumps of life–whether you’re lighting Christmas trees, Hannukah Menorahs, or Kwanzaa kinaras because while keeping those lights lit are important to you, keeping the light lit inside of YOU is important to me. TZT
*That this activity is specifically mentioned as useful for small children, but works very well for me, may tell you more about me than you cared to know.