Flowzario’s Wellness Rant Vol. 1: How to Tackle Stress
May 10, 2018Rosario Chozas
Let’s talk about stress, baby. But also, let’s talk about how to make it pretty much go away.
Disclaimer: I feel the need to talk about stress, anxiety and all that comes with it because, for countless years, it affected my life. It made me sick and took me waaaay too long to get a handle on. Hopefully through sharing some info and thoughts, someone somewhere can end up feeling a little bit better. And if not, well at least I got some shit off my chest.
For most people stress is this thing that occurs maybe when you’re busy, or when you travel or during a very important presentation or launch. For other people, stress is this lingering thing that hovers over you and turns into daily gut-wrenching anxiety. It makes you feel like your head will spin right off at any given time and your heart may or may not explode in the middle of a Tuesday on a conference call. Super casual. I have lived a life where the latter was me.
Not fun, I know. But the good news is it never stopped me from making all kinds of decisions; bad ones, crazy ones, life-changing ones, etc. So yay to that. It did however make me sick. I mean literally sick. At one point and through the long, and slightly tedious journey of holistically healing back from my anxiety disorders, I was able to get a grip on it, manage it, and live a life that was not inundated by heart palpitations and tummy aches.
I am by no means an expert, a guru, or INSERT WORD of person that supposedly has their shit together more than most. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a bottle of CBD oil and some breathing videos hoping to live a life of serenity. (If you didn’t catch the movie reference, just keep moving)
So, the short version of the 4-5 year long healing journey is that I’ve done like basically all the wellness things. Like, aaaaallllll of them. Even the super weird ones that make you question everything both in good and bad ways. The conclusions that I have derived from those expensive years are as follows:
Not All Stress is Created Equal.
Same goes for anxiety. Like I mentioned: for some, stress is a thing that comes in and feels weird for a bit, then leaves and is forgotten. For others (like the lady typing) it stays, simmers, turns into chest pounding anxiety that wakes you up at 5 in the morning and takes any and all joy from daily life giving you a migraine. And no, Becky, I can’t just “chill out” or “relax” to make it go away. It doesn’t really work like that.
You Are Your Own Guru.
Since you get to live in your body all day errr day, you are the one that knows it best. More than anyone actually. It’s also your super power, believe it or not. I know, you weren’t even expecting it and now, YOU have a super power. Trust what you feel and become aware of when you feel stress. This will help you know what your triggers are and also what actually makes you feel serene again. (Even if it’s not a yoga class)
Finding that ‘thing’ that makes you feel better takes time. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but definitely takes time. I chose not to heal through the pharmaceutical route and even if you were to, the reality is this shit takes time energy and dedication. It’s like a diet. You have to try new foods and workouts, and put in a little effort everyday so that you get to a place where you are happy. Even when you get there, sometimes your life changes and you need to try something else. In any type of healing, its evolutionary, right?
There is no real time wasted, but the more you listen to yourself and what feels good to you (‘member that super power thing) the easier it is to close in on what works for you. Basically, try it all. All the things that spark interest and curiosity, or that you are drawn to. Whether that’s a raw food cooking class, a drum circle, Thai massage, or any wellness/healing thing that speaks to your heart and says: “fuck yeah, sounds cool”. Try it. See how you feel, and then try something else. Good news is wellness is here to stay so there’s a lot out there. Most likely, you have at least one friend who will be down to rally for an ecstatic dance or sound healing meditation.
Stick To What Makes You Feel Good.
Once you figure out those things that make you feel good, take the pressure off your chest, and allow you to dream again (literally and metaphorically speaking), stick to it. Celebrate it. Let yourself feel better and your body will start to follow. Once we provide the conditions for it, our bodies take the baton and run with it and heal. They actually prefer to be healthy so just give them what they need and they do the rest. If that means changing up your life a bit and not partaking in the same or equal amounts of activities or work or social outings, who cares? Feeling like shit is soooo not worth it. Life is way to short.
Sleep Forever and Ever.
Sleep is a real thing. So real. Get more into it and feel free to google search how NOT cool it is to not sleep. Or you can just experience it by feeling like a not great version of yourself all the time. Naps are sexy. Sleeping-in is the new hustle, and running on empty is not hot, people! Not hot. Sooner or later, you will feel it if you continue to do so.
My Stress-free Go-Tos:
And to close my rant, I’d like to share some stuffs that has been helpful for me in this past year, because that’s the best way to measure these things. (We/our lives are constantly changing, so let’s not get too ambitious with ‘forever’, k?) Perhaps they can support you in some way or not but hey, here’s to trying. Either way, get out there and see if you can do one thing, just one little thing today that makes you feel like the magic inside you got elevated.
CBD Oil FTW.
At first I thought I would just be stoned all day if I took this. Well, the good and bad news is that I am not. Because there is CBD oil with no THC that basically gives you the very healing benefits of Hemp without the brain high. It’s a great anti-inflammatory, stress reliever, supports solid sleep and helps deal with traffic as an added bonus. The OG brand (I use the medium level – two dots – mint chocolate one). The amazing local brand, acai gummies are legit and you can use code AMY15 for a special discount, awwww yeah. My fave, mostly because it has lemon balm which is great for any digestive…anything, AND you can use code PEACEBEWITHYOU for another discount, so cool. No?!
Yes, the actual person. Anything he is doing helps with stress because he has also been through the wringer and has SO much knowledge and support. It’s crazy. He has an amazing app, Sensie, that you get to take with you wherever. It helps identify your stressors and comes with breathing techniques/videos like those in his Body Mind Technology course. He works through yoga classes at Tropical Vinyasa, is a life coach, and is just an all-around great person. He really can help you out.
Yoga and Exercise.
Yoga. This worked for me. So much so, that I became a yoga instructor to hopefully leave people feeling strong and yoga-stoned for the rest of the day when they come to my classes. When I take a class, I feel the difference throughout the day. Through the years, the physical practice has aligned me on a muscular, hormonal, and just everything level. There are so many types of yoga, too. Not just the hot or slow kind. All of them are good for different things, from flexibility to general working out. It just depends which one speaks to you, again the super power thing. Finding your go-to yoga studio might take a minute, but it’s worth it. Sign up for Class Pass and try different styles, teachers, studios and don’t take it too seriously. We’re all just trying to feel good and move our bodies around. As long as you give it an honest try, you’re already winning and will you’ll be able to identify if it’s a good fit for you.
For When You’re Caught in a Jam:
1. Close your eyes (obvs) and take a seat. In the car, on the floor, wherever. But ideally you are sitting up. Inhale for 4 counts through your nose…good. Hold it in for four counts…good. Exhale through your nose for 4 counts and once the air is all gone from your belly, hold for 4 counts before you inhale again.
2. Lay on the floor next to a wall, shimmy your butt all the way to the wall and let your legs rest up on the wall. Basically you are in a 90 degree angle where your back is on the floor and your legs are up the wall. If you have it, put a pillow under your butt so that you get a little lift. Close your eyes and set a timer to 15 minutes. Relax your arms by your side and just breath. Playing your all-time favorite songs is also valid.
3. Take a child’s pose, like anywhere. Move around, move through a sequence of Sun A – 3 times, and then back to child’s pose. Move into a forward fold, slowly roll up and start again.
Rosario Chozas is the hilariously amazing soul behind @flowzario, and Prism’s resident Account Manager and internal Wellness Guru/Big Sister. She’s also the badass entrepreneur behind the sustainable workwear line, BAMMIES.