Five (totally do-able) solutions for stress and anxiety

Updated: Jan 2

Ah the waning days of summer. I feel like each year, come late August, I start to wonder where the time went! A change is on the way - seasons life patterns, how we move has we hit September... October... November. Maybe it's the imprint of back-to-school that we go inward a little and get into our own heads a lot.

Maybe it's Vata season, in the Ayurvedic system. At this time, energies are prone to shift, to vacillate, be more erratic. Anxiety, sleeplessness, worry, and forgetfulness might be more present in your daily life. You might have weird dreams if you do sleep; yet, this can also be a time of huge creativity if your energies stay balanced.

Here are my five totally do-able ways to manage stress and mediate anxiety when I'm all up in my head.

1. Stop multi-tasking (SMT)

Stress is knowing you have a million things on your to-do list, and then adding more. Be honest, do you find yourself saying "maybe I can squeeze this in" or "I can do this while I (fill in the blank)? I'm the queen of this, and it is always a practice to SMT!

Yoga philosophy tells us that if we really want to cultivate focus, we must practice focus. Don't dig a bunch of shallow wells. Dig one well - or just a few - very well. Be intentional about what you put on your calendar, and why. If you need help organizing your calendar for life balance, check out my calendar stress hack.

2. Meditate once a day (at least)

Chronic stress (see #1) can also be the partner of anxiety, the worry/panic, and/or anticipation of having to do it all or conceptualizing what could go wrong. You can experience negative or unkind thoughts, but you can also practice meditating on the presence of the opposite. What is the positive side of your experience? It might be hard to identify, but it's there.

Check out this particular thread of yoga philosophy. II.33 - vitarka-bādhane pratipakṣa-bhāvanam. - when distress (vitarka) makes us tense (bādhane), let us cultivate an alternative (pratipakṣa) perspective (bhāvanam) or do the opposite. New to meditation? Here's my beginner's guide.

3. Practice slower, steadier asana

Embrace the grounding energies in all poses; stay there a little longer. Let your forehead touch the mat in child's pose. Be mindful your feet, legs, and hips extending into the earth in standing poses). Choose classes that move a little more deliberately and slower with more soothing (versus house) music. Practice amongst trees.

4. Support your digestion

Internal dryness tightens up your digestive fire (agni), and things don't move. You can help yourself by inviting in more root veggies that are cooked and eaten warm. Warming spices such as ginger and cinnamon can keep proper digestive churn happening, which helps your body continue to rid itself of waste and toxicity. Eat at routine times with less stimulation to give your digestion steadiness.

5. Call upon the earth and the roots

In my essential oils practice, it's time to gravitate toward those that root, ground, steady. My preferred essential oils partner is doTERRA for quality and sustainability, and I'm here to guide you through HOW and WHY. Here are solid recommendations for the fall transition:

  • Vetiver is a ground-covering plant known to stop soil erosion. If you need the world to stop moving so quickly, blend this oil with lavender for calm and serious grounding. Apply the blend to pulse points during the day, especially if you find yourself rushing around.

  • Lavender is one everyone should have on hand, blend it with almost any other essential oil to add a dose of calm and relaxation. For kids (and adults), a few drops on the feet does wonders.

  • Serenity is a potent blend of woods and flowers (including two kinds of sandalwood, ylang ylang, and chamomile) that are centering, calming, and relaxing to set you up for a good night's rest. I use three drops of this in my diffuser as I slip into bed.

  • Balance is tranquility and harmony for both mind and body, providing mental clarity through spruce, blue tansy, a calmer and anti-inflammatory, and ho wood, a mood elevator. It is one of my top five most-used EO blends all year round, actually.

  • Passion supports this swirling, creative season with an inspiring combo that is meant to fuel inspiration (and also support circulation, digestion, and more). I also just love this as a personal scent for fall.

One of the main things to remember is that any pure, high quality essential oil is potent and should never be applied to the skin directly. It's the biggest mistake I find happening in the use of essential oils today. Use a carrier such as fractionated coconut oil, gel, or salve. I'm here to help educate, so reach out and we'll do a 30 minute free EO therapy consult.

Try one thing and keep going. Consistent wellbeing practice = wellbeing forever.

> What's the right combo of solutions for you? Let's chat more about the alchemy that fits you and build your personal toolkit for wellbeing.

©2020 by Christine Chen Yoga | Chen Communications, LLC