The Winds of Stress + Anxiety

The winds of fall are here bringing cooler nights, hectic schedules, and maybe just an ounce or two of stress and anxiety.

Sure it’s still quite warm during the day, but there is that crispness to the air ushering in the fall season, and though many of us absolutely love the fall, it tends to bring with it hectic schedules of trying to pack all the fun fall festivities in. What happens when our schedules are filled to the brim? We get overwhelmed. We stretch ourselves too thin. We get out of our routines. We stop taking care of ourselves. Then finally, we crash. Sound familiar?

Now here’s the thing: it’s not that any of this is bad. We usually end up this way in the fall because we’ve said yes to all the things we love and enjoy! We are overbooked with things we look forward to; that we count down ‘til fall for. Let’s take the judgement out of it and just look at the facts. When we stretch ourselves too thin, our routines get thrown off. When our routines get thrown off, we stop our self-care practices (they’re always the first to go, huh?). We eat our meals at varying times, rush our meals, eat on the go, or completely forget to eat a meal all together! Our digestion gets all wacky. We lose regularity in our bowel movements and maybe struggle with constipation (yes y’all we talk about poop over here-deal with it). We get overwhelmed easily. We start struggling to get even the simplest tasks done then we beat ourselves up for it. Before we know it, our thoughts are spinning and spiraling and we are not ok.

Let’s consider an elemental point of view here. The fall brings in the air element as the temperatures get a bit cooler, the leaves drop from their trees, and it might even be a bit breezy or windy. Jam packed schedules, lack of routine, and skipping meals also brings in the air element. Then guess what y’all. We’ve got air on top of air and what happens when we combine more of the same? Imbalance. We get ungrounded and end up experience Vata (air+ ether) imbalance. So what do we do?

First things first, we get back into our routine and at the bare minimum try to go to bed at the same time each night, wake up at the same time each morning, and eat our meals at the same time. I’m all about being realistic and practical, so let’s keep it real, sometimes this isn’t going to happen and that’s ok. Do the best you can and don’t beat yourself up when you get off track because you just can’t shame yourself into ‘doing better.’ That’s not how it works.

Second, commit to a practice that serves you during this time of year. Our approach to anxiety in the Viniyoga lineage is to do a brmhana (nourishing) āsana (movement) practice followed by a langhana (calming) prānāyāma (breathing) practice. In it’s simplest form, this might look like a more vigorous movement practice followed by a gentle extension of exhale breathing practice (please note this is much more nuanced than I’m diving into here. If someone is totally physically depleted, a vigorous movement practice wouldn’t be the right fit). Like I said before, I’m all about about being realistic and practical, so going from no daily practice at all to 60 minutes of daily practice is setting yourself up for failure. We have to make our goals obtainable, so start with 5 minutes. I often tell my students that my personal daily practice is between 15-20 minutes because that is what is realistic for my day. Allow yourself that grace.

Finally, you might consider the foods you’re eating. To combat the excess of air energy, we need to bring in the opposing qualities, so think instead of foods that are warming, grounding, and nourishing. Eat more cooked foods and less foods that are raw or cold. Save those for summer. Enjoy a chai tea or golden milk. Nourish yourself with soup. Get cozy.

What does the month of October usually look like for you? Is it a busy time of year? Do you identify with the situations above? How do you take care of yourself? Tell me in the comments below!

Do you feel like you need help understanding what the best practice for you looks like right now? I’d love for you to schedule an individualized therapeutic yoga session with me! Reach out here!

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1 Comment

  1. jbirdmarketing

    Feeling supported and validated by this article, thank you!