Whether it’s induced by a hectic work-life schedule, an upcoming exam, financial obligations or a frustrating traffic-congested commute—stress is an unavoidable part of our lives.
While a healthy dose of stress is actually good for us, constant stress—in the long run—can contribute to a host of health issues including headaches, mood swings, hypertension, insomnia and heart disease.
This is why it’s important to make time for some R&R every day in order to manage stress effectively. Don’t know where to begin? Here are some simple ways to unwind, based on your zodiac sign:
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
“Journaling is the best way for an Aries to manage their passionate emotions,” says Lisa Stardust , NYC-based astrologer and author of Saturn Return Survival Guide: Navigating This Cosmic Rite of Passage and The Astrology Deck: Your Guide to the Meanings and Myths of the Cosmos . “Instead of taking it out on others, they can let all their feelings out in a journal to avoid drama, which always seems to get them in trouble,” she adds. Research shows that journaling not only helps lower stress and anxiety but may also contribute to your longevity. Here’s a handy guide on how to start keeping a journal.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Stardust suggests singing as an ideal form of stress relief for this earth sign. “Not only will singing allow docile Taurus to speak up and express their truths, but it will also help clear their throat chakra which is the part of the body that is ruled by the Bull,” she says. According to a 2017 study , singing by yourself or with someone else in a comfortable environment lowers the cortisol levels in your body consequently reducing stress. Since it’s a type of aerobic exercise , singing also boosts the production of endorphins aka the “happy hormones.”
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
“Gemini rules the lungs, which is why breathwork is really important for the Twins,” says Stardust. It will allow them to let out a lot of stress and frustration that they carry around, she adds. Being stressed activates your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which is responsible for triggering the “fight or flight” response. This can lead to accelerated heart rate, shallow breathing, dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, among other things. Mindful breathing can help counter these effects of stress as it activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which signals your mind and body to relax. Here are a few calming breathwork exercises to try.
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
“Heading to the beach, lake or a pool will allow the Crab to relieve their inner tension,” says Stardust. Research suggests that hitting the beach can help melt away stress and calm your mind in a jiffy thanks to the relaxing ebb and flow of the waves. “If they can't make it to the beach, listening to the comforting sounds of the ocean on their smartphone can also help them unwind and feel at home,” adds the astrologist.
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
“The best self-care activity for a Leo is to treat themselves to something really nice, like getting their hair done or buying makeup,” suggests Stardust. Multiple studies show that retail therapy , provided it’s done in moderation, can help relieve stress by having an immediate positive impact on your mood. Moreover, another study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that retail therapy may also help alleviate lingering sadness.
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Using a meditation app that can help put a brake on their racing thoughts is the best stress-relieving activity for the analytical Virgo, suggests Stardust. Multiple studies show that meditation , particularly mindful meditation, can help counter your body’s physical responses to stress (such as elevated heart rate and blood pressure) by activating your PNS that helps restore your mind and body to a calm state. Here are some of the best meditation apps to try.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
“The best way for Libras to unwind is to take a walk outside and breathe in the fresh air. Being in their element will help this air sign feel more calm and present within their bodies,” notes Stardust. Science shows that walking, like any other cardio exercise, lowers cortisol levels and promotes the production of stress-busting hormones called endorphins which together help promote relaxation and improve the mood.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
“Scorpios have it together most of the time but when they need to let their energy out then rage yoga is perfect for them to let loose,” says Stardust. Besides stretching and focused breathing, this anti-Zen form of yoga involves vocalizing pent-up frustration and emotions.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
“The fiery Archer never likes to stay in one place for too long, which is why they'll enjoy high-velocity training sessions that combine different interval workouts,” says Stardust. A velocity-based workout will not only help you let loose but also improve your performance, increase range of motion and boost cardiovascular health, among other things.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
“The best way for workaholic Capricorns to combat stress in their lives is to set boundaries,” says Stardust. Setting clear boundaries in personal and professional life keeps you from overworking, overcommitting and feeling overwhelmed—all of which can contribute to stress and anxiety. Here are some key strategies to build and maintain healthy boundaries.
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
Taking a relaxing bath that involves healing bath salts or CBD bath bombs is an ideal way to wash away the stresses and worries of the day for this air sign, notes Stardust. Here are a few quick tips to maximize the mental and physical health benefits of your bath time.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Pisces rules the feet, so a light foot massage and pedicure are some of the simplest ways to decompress for the sensitive water sign, says Stardust. Check out these simple foot massage techniques for stress and pain relief.
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