✍️ Ask the Team: Keep Calm, Carry On

We’re bringing you a little behind the scenes feature – a regular get to know some of the Ompractice team! What’s it like working for a health and wellness company?

Well, it doesn’t absolve us of stress, but it certainly is nice to be working for a meaningful mission, and with this community! That said, we’re all humans! So we put the question to the team:

πŸ”Ž How do you personally handle moments of high-stress or anxiety? Any advice for our students?

Chris Lucas, Co-Founder, CEO: “Depending on how long the high-stress/anxiety is expected to last, I normally do some kind of physical activity (even mowing the lawn can be very meditative). However, when getting outside and moving isn’t an option, I’ve taken to something very basic: I literally say out loud, β€œI got this.” and remind myself that whatever I’m experiencing has been experienced/survived by thousands of others before me and that gives me a sense of calm.”

Don’t have lawn to mow? (Watching Youtube lawn care videos is highly relaxing)

Kristen Schultz, VA: “I try to collapse time. When I have these overwhelming moments, I try to stop all that I’m doing and breathe. I assess the situation, sit with it, and let myself feel it. I then make a plan. I usually experience anxious, overwhelmed times when I’m trying to do too many things at once. Making a list/plan brings me comfort. That plan might change as I move forward but I like having a general direction.”

Rachael Lappen, Director of Teachers: “When I feel stressed or anxious, my best immediate tools to get grounded and present in the moment are to feel my two feet evenly pressing into the floor (spreading my toes and lifting my arches) and to say to myself “one thing at a time”. This helps me to prioritize what I am doing in the moment and remind myself that there are only so many hours in a day, lots to do (and it might not all get done), and put my attention on the task at hand so that I can execute powerfully.”

Some of my favorite things to do to chill out:

  • πŸ–οΈ Hit the beach – I try to go as often as possible. The sound of the waves is so soothing and meditative to me.
  • πŸ’ͺ Move! – my current favorites ways to do this: lap swimming (also very meditative), going for a long walk with a good podcast or Frank Sinatra on repeat, jumping on my new rebounder trampoline (it’s the most fun workout ever!), and my daily ritual of a 30 minute Yin practice first thing in the morning (which has also cured my chronic back pain!)
  • ♻️ Declutter – I am a huge advocate of sustainable living and get a lot of joy and peace from clearing space and repurposing treasures to new homes.

Sam Tackeff, Co-Founder, COO: (I also think in lists!)

  • 🌳 Meditation. This for me looks differently at different times – usually it’s taking my coffee cup outside with my dog, sitting on the porch, staring at the trees. A small shout out to Yoga for Tight Shoulders and Neck with Niki (I’m often in that class mid-day on stressful days!)
  • 🍴 Food! I have a very large cookbook collection. If I’m not picking up a cookbook to lose myself in, I stress relief by food shopping (yes, really!), cooking, and eating something delicious.
  • 🌊 I actively seek out water. (I grew up at the ocean in New Hampshire, and while I didn’t take it for granted, I definitely didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have!) Ocean, lakes, pond, extra hydration – you name it.
  • πŸ’¬ Texting cute memes to my friend text chain, or our extended family group chat. (Chances are, someone else is having a high-stress day as well, and we all get the benefit.) I also take great pleasure in celebrating the pets@ompractice.com submissions.

Danielle Cohen, CTO: “When I feel my stress levels mounting, I try to focus on my breathing – deep inhales and longer exhales. If I have a little time, I also try to go for a one-to-two-mile walk to calm my nerves. I once read that greenery reduces stress, so I try to head to a park, trail, or cemetery. If I catch myself rehashing anxious thoughts during the walk, I refocus my attention on the sounds of birds chirping and the breeze through the trees.”

Hannah McNeill, Partnerships: “For me stress and anxiety are things I have struggled with since I was a little girl. For some reason, in a small town “perfect” is the ideal and what people expect of you. “Perfect” is a tricky word though because through everyone’s lens it has a different meaning. As I grew older, moved away, went to school, travelled and bounced around with Corporate America I chiseled my own meaning of the word. Where not getting straight A’s, not getting the promotion, not making the team- isn’t met with instantaneous guilt or “what could I have done better?” but instead coming from a place of thanks. I’m thankful I had that opportunity. Perspective shaped my perfect.”

Hannah also submitted a list. What can I say? We are list people.

My little nuggets of solace that I routinely tap into are: 

  • β˜€οΈ Get Outside: whether it’s to walk my dog, go for a hike, walk barefoot in the grass or just be, outside is my happy place. 
  •  πŸΆ Time with my furry best friend, Zoey. 
  •  πŸŒ¬Box breathing: it brings me back to the present if I start to spin out on all of the what ifs of the world. 
  •  πŸŽΆ Music: I love to play my favorite Spotify lists and just dance around the house or in the car or down the sidewalk, nothing is off limits for a little dance party.
  •  πŸŒŠWater: Water feels like home. Long baths, swimming laps, laying by a river, boating in the ocean, sitting beside a pond- I will take it all.  
  •  πŸ“š Reading: Getting lost in a good book is always a relief for my mind when it’s running away from me. I transport to somewhere else for a little bit and tap into my childlike imagination. 
  •  πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚️ Move my body: However I show up for myself that day is perfect. Some days it may look like a HIIT class, some days it’s yoga and other days it may just be a walk around the block. 
  • πŸ’« Organize: Having a space that feels warm is important to me. Maintaining a space that’s clean, organized and decluttered regularly fills my cup. 

I hope some of these may help you if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed today. You are not alone. Remember to take some time out for you!

How do you handle those high stress moments? We’d love to hear it!

Send a note to info@ompractice.com, and we’ll feature your responses in some of the upcoming newsletters!