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Mini Rituals to Self-Regulate During Times of Stress

I don’t know if anyone else is feeling this, but 2024 has been a powder keg of stressful situations for me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a period in my life where so many triggers kept showing up in every aspect of my life so doggedly. 

Spending so much time in the flight-or-fight stress response has really given my nervous system a beating.  As a result, I’ve been extra diligent in finding ways to regulate my nervous system that feel really do-able and effective for me. In case you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and under-supported, too, I am sharing some of my favorite mini rituals for self-regulating so you, too, can find your way safely through your stressful moments. 

Mini Rituals to Self-Regulate During Times of Stress

Ready? Here we go!

  1. Take a big breath and hold it. (Hold it at your diaphragm, not at your throat.) Hold it as long as you comfortably can. Then release it. You can release it in a semi-forceful sigh, or slow and steady like a tire with a hole in it. Either way works for me. This can help to instantly calm the frenetic kinetic energy that can take over during high stress situations.

  2. Stretch the body. The more of your body you stretch, the better the result, but even if you can only stretch your neck by looking down at your chest, you’ll get some benefit. I like to fold my upper body forward over my lap-either sitting or standing-then clasp my hands behind my back and raise them up until I feel some resistance. Creating space in your joints via stretching your body can help create space in your mind and your heart. It’s a great way to reset your faculties and your nervous system when you start feeling constricted by circumstances.

  3. Try some candle gazing with visualization. Gazing softly at the flame of a candle can help to refocus your attention on something neutral. If you spend a few moments here, you’ll likely find yourself relaxing into a mild trance state. (Yogis call this tratak or trataka.) This is a great time to practice visualizing something you want, such as a solution to your current conundrum, or a relaxing moment on the beach, or whatever your particular jam may be. Even one minute of this mini ritual can create a noticeable calming effect on the nervous system.

  4. Add subliminals to your daily routine. Subliminals are affirmations designed to help you reprogram your conditioned subconscious beliefs into something that is more aligned and supportive for you. They are recorded below the threshold of conscious perception, usually with some relaxing music or nature sounds overlaid to help you relax. Relaxation makes the mind more susceptible to suggestion, AND helps regulate your stress levels, so it’s a win/win. You can play your subliminals as often as you like throughout your day, letting them work their magick without you even having to [consciously] think about it. NOTE: Be sure you get your subliminals from a reputable source if you aren’t making your own. (I’m hoping to start offering subliminals via my webshop later this year. Until then, you might consider Jasmine Kenna for some ready-made or customized subliminals.)

  5. Submerge yourself in water. Doesn’t really matter what your water source is, as long as it’s one you find safe and soothing. My go-tos are baths and, in Summer, the neighborhood swimming pool. Of course, oceans, lakes, rivers and streams are great if you’re lucky enough to have easy access to them. I personally have the most success when I can submerge my entire body under water. It’s really about allowing myself to be held in the water which evokes a primal memory of being safe in the waters of the womb. Floating like this is a fantastic way to self-regulate when life experiences are going off the rails a bit. 

  6. Connect with a friend, mentor or guide. Human connection is invaluable during periods of overwhelm, burnout and stress. Seek out someone you can trust who is willing and able to hold space for you in your current state. It’s an amazing balm for the body, soul and spirit.

  7. Three words: Bach Flower Therapy. This is one of my most consistent and trusted means of calming my stress responses in any situation. You can totally self-administer Back Flower Therapy, though it can be a little time consuming and potentially expensive to go it alone. Often it’s best to find an experienced practitioner to concoct a remedy designed just for you in your current state. (Self-promotional plug: I can do this for you.) It’s easy, affordable and has no risk of negative side effects. And it ALWAYS helps me. 

I hope these suggestions are helpful for you, dear reader. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s the highlight reel of my favorite tried and true methods. Try them for yourself, or use them as inspiration to find your own mini rituals for self-regulation. We really are all in this together, friends. Let’s make sure we’re taking care of ourselves as well as each other. xoxo 💋


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