This past month I have been extra busy transitioning into a new schedule. I recently took another job outside of the studio. Some days my mind feels like it’s racing a mile a minute. So much to do, so little time. There has been a lot of driving back and forth. Trying to get in bed earlier. Waking up late, showing up late, and being frustrated because of it. Meal prepping. Packing a gym bag. Forgetting that gym bag, then having to turn around and pick it up. Budgeting in extra spending for gas and meals on the go. And of course- scheduling client’s appointments and teaching classes all while trying to maintain a social presence. I’m not quite down with this new schedule yet but I’m workin on it.
Within the past few weeks, I’ve had a mini panic attack or... three. Believe it out not, this yoga girl is not always “zen.” My work week used to consist of only 20-30 hours. I also made that schedule allowing myself time to be flexible and focus on self-care. That was nice... That was then. My work week now averages about 55-60 hours per week and it’s only going to get busier as we move into the warmer months. A year and a half ago, this was completelyyy normal to me. I was constantly on the move, picking up hours, and filling my schedule. I LOVED being busy. Maybe I’m still shaking off some of that lazy syndrome from the pandemic this past year. But now, I’m back to “go go go.” It’s a new ball game! Yes, there are times where I want to sit in my car and have a good cry. Have I done that? Absolutely. Those are the moments I have to remind myself of my accomplishments, MY WHY. Things I am grateful for. I remind myself, that I am not alone and he is with me. And those are also the moments where I need to remind myself that I’m a BADASS woman and making shit happen!
Sometimes we need a little more than a good pep talk though. Sometimes it’s a little more difficult to shake off that unwanted stress and anxiety. When we go through any transition, it’s important to acknowledge these emotions. To take note of how you’re feeling in your body and mind. Evaluate. Notice stressors, tension, and ease. It’s during times like this where we need to take that pause, take a deep inhale, exhale, and let it all out! Grounding techniques are also useful here. Grounding techniques are strategies that can help a person better manage strong emotions, such as anxiety. The purpose of these strategies are to allow a person to step away from negative thoughts or flashbacks and come back into the present.
Here are several I’ve been practicing this past week to help reduce my anxiety and stress.
Breath- An easy breath technique to start with, “Boxed Breathing.” This is an exercise which you’ll breathe in four seconds, breathe out four seconds, hold for four seconds and so on. You can repeat this exercise until you feel more calm and centered. Another exercise I like to do is lie on my back and rest a yoga block on the belly. You can practice boxed breathing, ujjayi, or normal breathing here. Pay attention to how the block rises on your inhale and lowers on your exhale.
Stretch- light stretching or free flow yoga. Focus on your breath and any new sensations that come up for you here. I always practice and encourage students to take a body scan before and after stretching/yoga. Start at your toes and work your way to the crown of your head, checking in with every muscle and bone in your body.
Exercise/Movement- Whether you go for a simple walk, hike, bike ride, take a group fitness class, or hit the gym exercise is one of the most effective ways to get back into the body.
Mindfulness- Try the “5,4,3,2,1 Exercise.” This is where you identify five objects, four different sounds, three textures, two smells, and one taste. This could be an exercise you try daily or weekly. You can experiment here and try journaling as well. The intention here is to become present.
Senses- Take any object into your hands. Focus on a particular sensation. Explore the object with your fingers feeling any shape, texture, and temperature. This can also be practiced with combination of vision.
These grounding techniques create mindfulness and help build resilience! Comment below and share some of your favorite ways to practice mindfulness and grounding techniques.
Zen & Fit with Sara