I recently came across an article on Facebook about how to relieve stress & create more inner peace.  Sometimes the holidays (& life) can get a little stressful so I immediately clicked on it.  I was pretty surprised at how both alternately overly specific & sometimes general it was.  I need more than that, I instantly thought.  I also thought, I ain’t got time for that!  As a mom, any type of stress reliever has to be quick & mostly easy to do while watching a busy toddler.  Which got me thinking about how I do have different stress management tools to cope during tumultuous times (although I could always use more!)  My cousin recently used the word, respite, which really resonated with me:

Respite: A short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.

Isn’t that something we all look for during times of stress?  I know that in the past couple months I have been challenged & have tried to find things & places to relieve some of that stress.  I would love to hear anyone’s go to stress relievers, but the following are some of the things that I do.

1.)  FORWARD FOLDS:  Lots of them!

So this is something I’ve been doing for a while.  I really believe that the reason that folds come so easy to me now in my yoga practice is because I used to get really stressed out at my corporate 9-5 job (that I had for 10 years) & I would do forward fold in the bathroom stall every time I took a bathroom break.  I got really stressed so I did a lot of folds!  Only pictures in this post are 4 different ways of doing folds, the arm hold is very accessible to almost anyone as long as knees are bent.  You can also use blocks to hold on to.  Breath work & folds go together like peanut butter & jelly.  Breathing & folding will reduce stress!  Be careful if you have back issues, always talk to your doc first before attempting.

*Other stress relieving poses that I love:  Downward facing dog & child’s pose.


2.  MEDITATION:  Sometimes for just one second!

I suck at meditation sometimes, & you know what?  I’m totally okay with that.  Like yoga, meditation is a gradual practice, it’s something we just try to do & don’t measure results in.  My go to meditation when stressed is to just stop, sit, close eyes, & breathe.  This can be at the park while my son plays (It’s okay to get weird looks from people).  This can be when I need some ‘soul enrichment’ for a couple minutes while my son plays inside or watches cartoons.  Once or twice a week I can sit for 10-15 minutes in silence, in easy seat & meditate, but mostly I snatch meditation where I can.  I can still be hard on myself about not rising at 4am every day to meditate, which brings me to my next stress reliever:

3.  LET SHIT GO:  Because it’s not worth holding on to!

This has been my mantra for the last couple weeks.  It’s also kind of a trendy thing to say, even though the actual concept is ancient.  Like meditation, I’m less than perfect at letting stuff go.  I get so involved in the drama.  This is why it’s a current mantra for me, I have to constantly remind myself!  Aren’t the holidays such great fodder for setting high expectations for people, places, & things?  Grrrr.  A friend recently said, some days I’m the windshield & some days I’m the bug.  We all laughed because isn’t that true?  Let it go because you probably can’t change people, places, & things anyways, right?  Lastly, let go of those high expectations for yourself.  If you got out of bed today & did just one right thing, you are good enough.  Focus on the positive about yourself & let the negative fall by the wayside.  I seem to be transitioning seamlessly here, wow so positive, eh?  See next:

4.  POSITIVE SELF TALK:  You aren’t who they say you are, don’t forget!

I really believe that our loved ones, friends & family, since they’re so close, since we love them so much, can really push our buttons!  Aunt Mildred (name & situation fictitious here) may always ask you at every holiday gathering when are you ever getting married/having kids/getting that good job, but it doesn’t mean we have to believe her image of us, right?  My scenarios are way more complicated & yours probably are too.  Do we really have to let other people’s judgement seep into us?  For me, sometimes it does & sometimes it doesn’t.  Days that it does I will be taking a bunch of bath room breaks (see #1).  I also like to counter negative energy from others into positive self talk.  I will repeat the exact opposite of what they are inferring.  Example:  You have such nice hair!  Why do you dye it pink?  My self talk:  My pink hair is effing awesome.  I love it.  Take that Aunt Mildred.

5.  PRIORITIZE THE FUN:  It’s okay to have a sink full of dirty dishes.

It’s hard for me to not clean or do dishes when the messes are there & instead go do a bit of writing, or yoga, or whatever fun project I’m into at the moment.  I do really have to pick, choose, & schedule this fun wisely.  At this stage in my life I will not be able to do all the things I want to do.  But you know what?  I can do some.  Some days there’s so much to do I have to force myself to have fun as sad as that sounds!


I hope someone out there gets something out of these little tips.  Again would love to hear detailed ideas anyone else has, I need more tools!  I also have to say that the recovery program of AA has given me these stress relievers.  I learned them all there from other members.  Have to give credit where credit is due.

Just be easy on yourself, or just a bit more easy than you would normally be.  Sending you all good vibes.


Published by Liz Brower

I've practiced yoga since 2006, I stumbled into a class at my local gym. I didn't really "get" yoga, I wanted to do all of the poses to the max, I didn't focus on breathing, and I was very competitive. A year later I quit smoking and my mom purchased a three month unlimited to a local studio. I fell in love with yoga! Plus the metaphor was strong, my lungs began to repair, I could take really deep inhales without coughing! I later began to go to a free outdoor yoga classes in downtown Long Beach, CA that was also affiliated with a donation based studio. Yoga was fun, affordable, accessible, and outside! I loved it. I started practicing at home by myself. I started meditating. Right after I found the classes at the gym stopped drinking alchohol. My sobriety and yoga have intertwined ever since. They compliment each other amazingly and I am so grateful for them both. I stopped practicing yoga after getting pregnant and being caught up with the taking care of a newborn in 2013/2014. When he was 9 months old I realized that I really wanted to redirect myself back to yoga. I also had the seed planted in my mind while driving home from Christmas break, why don't you go do a yoga teacher training?! I started practicing yoga at a local studio and began scouring the internet for a teacher training program. I found Three Sisters Yoga, a lovely program, based out of NY & PDX. I was more than motivated to teach, I started teaching some free yoga in the summer of 2015 at a local park. I continued after that with an internship at the same studio I had signed back up with at the beginning of the year. I quit my day job. I hit the pavement, scouring for yoga gigs that would hire a newbie. I found a job and began to teach! Now I am navigating the great balance of being a single mom, a yoga teacher, and doing my best to trust my higher power with my future. I love to teach and practice vinyasa, but also know what it's like to be drawn to slower types of yoga due to injury or body type. I feel a special affinity for yoga new comers and like to teach practice at all different levels. Thank you for taking time to read a little more about me and I wish all of you the best in your own individual yoga practice. ~Namaste!


  1. Yoga, meditation and letting go are awesome.
    I also use Epsom salt baths (magnesium is never wrong) and abhayanga oil massage.

    If you don’t have time to fit the oil massage in in the morning, just oil your feet before bed. It’s amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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