Grounding Exercises to Ease Anxiety

What are grounding exercises?

Grounding exercises are typically used in therapy and self care to help calm you, quiet your thoughts, center yourself, and be present in the moment. We are in the midst of a pandemic and people are anxious.

People are scared that they may lose their jobs. People are overwhelmed with trying to work while also finding or providing child care. Grounding exercises won’t solve these very real problems, but they can help reduce anxiety and relieve some stress, even if it’s just a moment of peace.

Stress can affect us all differently when it comes to food. Some people eat less when they’re stressed, and skip meals. Others will eat more when they’re stressed as a source of comfort. It’s ok for food to be a source of comfort.

That is normal and acceptable. However, we need alternative tools for stress relief in addition to food. That’s where grounding exercises come in. You can also check out this blog about stress and emotional eating!

With working from home and being disconnected from each other, my colleague Klara sends out daily emails with inspiration.

The other day, she talked us all through some grounding exercises. She has created a grounding box for herself. It’s not a physical box, but more a list of things she can utilize to ground herself.

The grounding box uses the five senses: smell, touch, taste, sight, and sound.

grounding exercises

Klara has a few items from each category that brings her joy.

Klara’s grounding exercises incorporate these items:

  • Smell: Eucalyptus spearmint stress relief lotion
  • Touch: Petting her cat, Max or playing with fidget toys
  • Taste: Cup of tea or a homemade latte
  • Sight: pictures of friends and family
  • Sound: singing along to musical soundtracks

I followed suit by creating my own grounding box:

  • Smell: Lavender essential oil
  • Touch: Petting the pups
  • Taste: Kilwin’s sea salt caramel
  • Sight: Looking at my plants
  • Sound: Opening the window and listening to the birds chirping


Kaitlin shares what she would put in her grounding box in this video.

YouTube video

What would you put in your grounding box? Let us know in the comments below!

If you are struggling to stay grounded during this time and your nutrition is suffering because of it, we are here to help.

We are offering virtual counseling sessions to stay connected with our patients while also maintaining their safety. Call (301) 474-2499 or email to set up an appointment.

Check out these other self care blogs!


-Blog reviewed and updated by Rebecca Bitzer MS RD LD September 10, 2021

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An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.