By: Jessica Woelkers, LCSW

April is National Stress Awareness Month, so we will honor that by discussing 4 natural ways to cope with life’s stressors. Stress often leads to feelings of nervousness or anxiety, which is physiologically adaptive in the short term. However, prolonged stress can have detrimental effects on physical and mental health. To circumvent this from happening, today we will discuss my favorite ways to naturally cope with Anxiety and Stress.

Journal it out

  • Journal your fears, stress and/or anything that you are worrying about.
  • Get out of your head!
  • Putting it out on paper makes it appear less real and gives you the opportunity to detach from the situation and challenge any irrational worries.
  • Remember: it if is mention-able, it’s manageable.

          Bonus: rip it up after your done for a cathartic release!

Lavender spray

  • Smelling essential oils can bring you out of your head and stimulate your other senses instead of your worried brain.
  • Ingredients
  • Recipe
    • Get a 5 ounce spray bottle, drop 15-20 drops of lavender in and add distilled water.
    • Shake and apply topically and/or spray around your room/home.

Rescue Remedy (by Bach Flower Remedies)

  • For an instant, plant based, and all-natural stress reliever that calms your nervous system (literally!), Rescue Remedy Pastilles have an instant soothing and grounding effect.
  • I find mine at Wegmans, Eden’s Market or Whole Foods!

Grounding Exercise

  • Ground! Anxiety and stress can leave us spinning in our heads about what is bothering us. Grounding brings your awareness out of your head and into your body, back into the present moment. When we bring awareness to our physical presence, we feel calmer, centered and rooted, much like a tree.
  • The quick way:
    • Feel your feet. Do some ankle rolls to bring your awareness to your “roots”.
    • Envision yourself as a tree and stand in mountain pose or tree pose.
    • Take three deep breaths.
    • Repeat for 3-5 minutes (can be done incognito in your cube as you stare at your computer screen, or in the restroom at work!).
  • A longer visualization can be found here:
    • This visualization works to keep you in the present moment instead of worrying the day away. A step by step (can be performed sitting or standing):

      Hartley Mae Practicing Her Grounding!

      • Bring your awareness to your feet, toes, and ankles. Roll your ankles to physically bring yourself and presence there. Envision yourself as a strong tree.
      • Plant your feet on the ground. Envision 2 strong tree roots growing out of your feet.
      • Imagine those roots permeating the carpet, wood or concrete floor beneath your feet, past levels of the building or home you are in, straight down to the foundation of the structure you are in, straight down into the mud of the earth.
      • Shoot those roots down through the earth; through the deep rock of the earth’s crust and straight into the earth’s glowing white core.
      • Stay here as long as you are able. When you are ready, follow your roots back up through the earth, back to your feet and allow the peaceful white light to flow up through your entire body.

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        Thank you for reading! The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own. This information is not meant to diagnose or treat any mental health condition. To further discuss this post or for any questions, please contact our office at 703.372.9695 and leave a message for me. Special inspiration from this post was taken from one of my greatest teachers, Dr. Susan Hyman

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