With the end of the semester around the corner and summer calling my name, my life tends to go into overdrive around this time every year. Between planning the rest of the year out, planning the rest of my life out, and staying afloat in work and school, it's easy to get stuck in the weeds of STRESS during the most beautiful time of the year. Over the past few years, I've learned to get a handle on stress so that I can be my best self and not let stress take over my life.
Stay in the NOW! Last summer, a friend lent me Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" and it changed my life. The message of the book is simple: living in the present moment will transform your life for the better. This amazing read has reminded me on countless occasions to get out of my head and just be grateful for that moment. In the hustle and bustle of planning, take a break to appreciate what's going on right now.
Get enough sleep. It seems counterintuitive that when you're caught up in an endless to do list, you should drop everything for a cat nap. Sleep is essential for a person's health and well-being and is a huge part of limiting your stress. Often times, when your body doesn't seem to be functioning at optimum level, you may just need to get some Z's to regenerate and rest.
Take time to check in. Every six months or so, I take a couple hours to sit down to write down my short and long term goals (personal, health, and career-wise). When you're starting to feel overwhelmed by your tasks, check in with these goals to make sure the things you're doing every day are in line with your long term vision. Be a person of your own design.
Surround yourself with people that support you and want to see you do well. As much as I think of myself as a one-woman show, there are countless individuals in my life that I owe all of my success to. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals as you, who will remind you of the bigger picture and push you every day to be great.
Take time everyday to regroup, get grounded and retreat. Everyone has different ways of doing this. Some let off steam at the gym. Some like to meditate and focus on their breath. I have found that my happy place to re-center myself is through yoga. I started my practice a few years ago and since then it has been a crucial part of my life. I encourage everyone to take the time to try out a class at your local yoga studio.
Don't know where to start? Here are a list of my favorite studios on the West Side!
Yoga Salt. Of all the studios I've tried in the area, Yoga Salt is by far my favorite. The classes are mostly all levels, which makes it easy to bring some of my friends that haven't had much experience doing yoga. The studio is simple, bright and welcoming. Located at 11955 Washington Blvd. in Culver City.
YogaWorks. One piece of advice: Bring a towel. YogaWorks is no joke and will leave you feeling sore, sweaty, and like a true yogi. With locations in Santa Monica, Playa Vista and El Segundo, finding the right class for my schedule is always easy.
Yoga Vista. Located right in Playa Vista, this small vinyasa studio provides a variety of classes that are accessible for all levels and are taught by truly incredible teachers. Being located right by Whole Foods is also a plus.
Hot 8. Right next to the Promenade in Santa Monica, you can easily get your sweat on after a long day of shopping. Hot 8 will leave you feeling refreshed, detoxed and slightly euphoric. Hot yoga isn't for everyone, but is worth working up a sweat for. Also located right next to Nekter juice bar, another plus.
Please pass along your favorite ways to de-stress in the comments! Also, let us know any of your favorite yoga studios if we've missed any. Namaste, yogis.