Here’s the thing, even on a bad day I can handle a lot, I think we all can. However, the past few weeks have really challenged my emotional resolve and stress levels. I had a major fundraising event, I worked at least 10-12 hour days for a week and a half–solid, my husband went to the doctor for some pretty scary stuff (hopefully he’s fine) and my father, who I am pretty much estranged from (for good reason), sent my sister a letter explaining he was going to cut ties from all of my sisters and I and he was making grave threats about taking his own life.
Now, having a toxic parent is a challenge and having a toxic parent with a personality and mental disorder is even more of a challenge. Even more challenging beyond that is having people in your life who throw around terms like, “sociopath”, “crazy”, and “narcissist” as pejoratives, when most people have no idea what experiencing someone like that is really like. I speak candidly about this because I feel like there is a lot of ignorance, sometimes cruel, purposeful ignorance, that surrounds mental health issues, which is weird because so many people deal with them.
Needless to say, I’ve been stressed beyond belief and one of the things that helps me manage is yoga and meditation. In fact, as soon as it’s a little bit nicer out I plan on creating an outdoor yoga space in my back yard. There’s something about deep breathing, exercise, and listening to your body that completely melts stress—so if you’re feeling stressed out, I highly suggest one of these 3 sequences to help:
1) Breathing and Meditation: I fully believe in the benefits on mindful thinking and meditation. I even have a relaxation/breathing app on my phone. I’ve even taken 5 minutes at my work desk to go through this routine and it always helps when I need to de-stress. If you have a stressful job, this is a must if you have an office door you can close and spend 5 minutes by yourself.
2) These yoga poses help alleviate stress and are actually good for beginners. You don’t even necessarily have to have a mat for these—and if you don’t have a yoga block, you can always use a hard pillow or a puppy dog (jk—don’t use a puppy dog). 🙂
3) I can’t recommend this video enough, I love this sequence—especially before bed. I don’t know about you, but when I am stressed out, I can’t sleep. My Fitbit says I do 4 hours of sleep at best when I am really stressed. Instead of going to bed with a million racing thoughts and a heartbeat that is jumping out of my chest, I am relaxed, stretched out, and ready for sleep after this sequence.
What about you, what are your favorite yoga poses?