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Ayurvedic Self-Soothing is the Secret to Being Truly Unstoppable
Cue in Sia belting out her TikTok-famous number. But really, our hyper busy schedules tug us into a million different directions ‘til the sun goes down. Being a Porsche with no brakes means we stay in the “go, go, go!” mode long after we have checked off tasks on our to-do lists. The biggest downside is that our nightly habits suffer, which creates a vicious cycle as our quality of sleep sets the tone for the day ahead. Insufficient downtime makes us feel fatigued, irritable and unfocused.
Establish a daily rhythm so you can transition easily from productivity to rest. In Ayurveda, the principle of dinacharya denotes the alignment of your circadian regimen with the natural cycles of nature. Reclaim your balance with ancient routines to calm modern anxieties.
Ayurvedic Strategies to Self-Soothe and Manage Stress
These Ayurvedic practices have been around for thousands of years and are time-tested for their efficacy to combat the effects of stress:
Downshift as the day progresses
While you may be going about your business at work or tending to your home, slowly release the intensity of the day starting in the afternoon. According to Ayurvedic dinacharya, Vata time begins at 2:00 p.m. and ends at 6:00 p.m. Attune yourself to this dosha’s qualities of airy lightness and let go of extreme activity.
Fulfill your duties and responsibilities, but acknowledge the shift internally as you embrace slowing down. A few ways to do this are by aligning your schedule to avoid rush hour, eating a small high protein snack to ground yourself or organizing your tasks to do your most demanding work in the morning. Your nervous system will thank you for it, and you’ll be coasting along in a relaxed state come bedtime.
Create a self-soothe box
Create a self-soothe box with a range of sensory objects as well as something to focus your mind on. Indulge in a loving Ayurvedic self-massage to engage the senses with a candle and massage oil set that you can store in your personalized box. An evening oiling ritual (sense of touch) is easy to do and can create an internal safe haven that cocoons you from external stressors. Learn how to perform an Abhyanga or self-massage here. Make it even more therapeutic with the use of the kansa wand to alleviate anxiousness and gently stimulate the marma points.
Light an aromatherapy candle (senses of sight and smell) to gaze on and let go of unnecessary thoughts and distractions. You can also say affirmations or chant mantras (sense of hearing) depending on the time and energy you have available.
Be creative and include things that are travel-friendly so your box can go with you on trips if you find travel stressful. You can keep photos of people, pets and places that you have positive associations with. Fill your self-soothe box with mementos of your favorite things so you can remind yourself of all that is good and you are safe – life is made up of light and shadows so don’t fixate on the mindset that you find yourself in at that specific moment in time.
Other great additions to this box are cork massage balls, wooden spinner toys, essential oils, copper water bottle, coloring sheets + pencils, puzzles, knitting supplies, poems…find an outlet for your anxiety with feel-good activities.
Seek support in herbal allies
Stress throws off a form of Pitta dosha that governs emotional balance. Nurturing this form of Pitta known as Sadhaka Pitta helps boost confidence, willpower, positive outlook and a feeling of fulfillment. It is also a good idea to nurture Vata dosha as it is associated with the mind and emotions. Prana Vata is the form of Vata that governs the brain's neuro-electrical activity and is the seat of higher cerebral functions like inspiration, enthusiasm and mental adaptability.
Heal an imbalance of Sadhaka Pitta and Prana Vata with adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and brahmi. Known as medharasayana or brain-boosting herbs, ashwagandha and brahmi act as nerve tonics that can reverse the effects of cortisol build up and prevent oxidative damage that occurs due to severe and long-term stress. This powerful duo calms the mind, promotes deep sleep and increases resistance to stress.
Master the art of regulating your own emotions with these simple Ayurvedic self-soothing principles.