As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, people are banding together globally in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. For many, that means social distancing and quarantining at home. But just because we’re all staying put at home to make progress toward a collective goal doesn’t mean each of us is handling this crisis in the same manner. Different personalities handle stress in different ways, and from the perspective of Ayurveda, an ancient holistic medicine practice that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, knowing how your dosha, or Ayurvedic energy type, best handles social isolation can help you make the best of the situation and use Ayurvedic stress tips to your advantage.
As an Ayurveda refresher, each individual most dominantly embodies the traits of one of three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Think of your dominant dosha as your personality type that determines what’s energetically best for your body and your mind, from what you eat and how you move to how you sleep. (Don’t know your dosha? Take this quiz.) So, in terms of Ayurvedic stress tips that can help you during this high-stress time, knowing your dosha type is key for unlocking secrets that’ll help you social distance in the most ideal way possible.
“Your dosha can give you insight on how to navigate what your needs are in times of stress, such as now.” —Lauren Gernady, Ayurveda expert
“Your dosha can give you insight on how to navigate what your needs are in times of stress, such as now,” says Lauren Gernady, academic coordinator of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda. Keep reading for the best Ayurvedic stress tips each dosha should embrace to make social distancing easier.
The Ayurvedic stress tips for each dosha that’ll make time in quarantine feel calmer.
If you’re a vata, you may be feeling lots of fear, anxiety, and worry, according to Julie Bernier, Ayurvedic practitioner and founder of True Ayurveda. “A vata could be feeling really ungrounded right now,” she says. “Their mind is continuously thinking, so it can be particularly challenging for them to focus.”
How to deal: Bernier says that the most helpful way to combat this anxiety is to set a routine. “Set a sleep routine, a work routine, a regular meal schedule,” she says. “They need things to be calming, soothing, and slow.” This is why she recommends incorporating a regular yoga practice, especially a more gentle type of yoga (like yoga nidra or pranayama yoga). “They also need to stay connected to friends and family, so continue to have phone calls and regular Zoom meetings so as to avoid loneliness and isolation,” she says. Gernady recommends taking up creative hobbies, like coloring, drawing, or knitting to keep the mind busy.
A pitta is more likely to experience anger about social isolation, according to Gernady. “They can be feeling really frustrated and having a hard time dealing with this lack of control,” adds Bernier.
How to deal: The key to handling this dosha response is to stay busy. “They should keep their body moving, and do a medium-level workout, like yoga, or something not overly exerting,” says Bernier. Gernady also says that it’s a good time to learn something new or to set goals, so find something to keep your mind in use. “They need to stay mentally strong,” she says.
This dosha type might be feeling especially down and sad, because, as Bernier says, “kaphas need stimulation,” and without any sort of motivation, they run he risk of sitting around and moping.
How to deal: Movement is a must for a kapha. “They should do rigorous movement, and even try dancing in the house to uplifting music,” says Bernier. “Be outside as much as possible and try to receive sunlight.” It can also help to wake up early, to get the most light as possible, and avoid naps,” which she says can exacerbate feelings of sadness. “Also stick with light, energizing, fresh foods, and avoid anything heavy.” As far as entertainment goes, Bernier recommends choosing content that keep your mind engaged, or to play games with others.