The Best Way to Unwind, According to Your Zodiac Sign
Take a breather.
"Aries love to be in action all the time, but if you feel like you're being pulled in multiple directions, it's easy for you to feel overstimulated or lose your temper," says celebrity astrologer Tali Edut of The AstroTwins. You'd be well-suited to set up a meditation corner in a room of your home, or to simply get out for a five-minute walk to clear your head. Breathing deeply triggers a relaxation response that tells your body to calm down—and when your body relaxes, your mind follows.
An earth sign, you tend to be grounded and practical, says Tracey L. Rogers, an astrologer and life coach in the Washington, D.C. area. You enjoy the simple creature comforts but, given you're a bull charging, there's also a real sensuality to you, says Edut. So, de-stress by doing something that makes you feel good and taps into your senses. That may be using an aromatherapy oil, suggests Edut. Another option that could work for you: have sex, says Rogers. One study found that having sex is a potent way to relieve stress for people in happy relationships.
Break out a puzzle.
Air signs are thinkers who love mental stimulation. "You want to know everything about everything," says Rogers. The problem is when you don't know how to turn off the buzz of your mind, anxiety creeps in and you become cranky and moody. (That's where the Gemini twins—or the other part of your personality—comes into play, she says.) Turn to activities that keep your brain engaged, and distract you from your problems, like a game or a puzzle, such as sudoku. "The goal isn't to excel at the puzzle, but to be present mentally and finish something. It helps release pent-up mental strife," she says.
Photo: Eva Katalin Kondoros/istock
Care for yourself.
"You're the feeler, nurturer and truly sentimental," says Edut. "You love to look out for everyone." Being so people-oriented, stress tends to rear its ugly head when there's tension at home, or when something gets in the way of creating a healthy, happy family life (like a crazy work schedule), adds Rogers. You need to nurture yourself in the way that you would others: cook yourself a nice, hot meal. Spend time at home wrapped in a blanket. Retreat to a comfy couch and watch your favorite show on Netflix. "Self-nurturing fills your reserves to nurture others," Rogers says.
Grab a rubdown.
You need to be in charge of everything, says Edut, so it's no surprise if you often find yourself as the project manager at work or the entertainment director for your company party. But all that leading and go-go-going means you burn the candle at both ends. "You need a conscious time-out," she says. Schedule a 90-minute massage. (In a pinch? Opt for one of those hand massagers and set aside a few minutes to work out the kinks.) Or, since you find joy in being in charge and social, organize a spa day with friends. Anything that combines relaxation with others is a win.
Make a to-do list.
How can we say this nicely? You may have a reputation for being a wee bit neurotic. You like to plan, strategize and execute. But you can't control everything. When things seem to get out of order in life, one way to de-stress is to find little moments of order, says Rogers. Organizing your bookshelf or your pantry can help you feel like you're in control, and be inherently de-stressing. Considering data shows that home clutter is in itself a source of stress, you're getting a double bang for your buck.
The scales should give it away: "You're very much concerned with balance in life," says Rogers. You always think about others and strive for little conflict in your life—and that's exactly what can ratchet up your stress levels. It may be a disagreement with someone, but it also may be that you're mulling over every angle of the argument in an effort to be fair and just. The result: You become indecisive as to what to do. Rather than focusing on a certain activity to find your zen, you need a mind-set shift. After all, one study by University of Madison-Wisconsin researchers found that the perception of stress negatively affecting your health makes all the difference in whether it's a drag on your well-being. "Look at the big picture in life, and try to detach yourself from forcing a specific outcome," advises Rogers. "It's what will allow you to be more present in your connection with others, and things will run more smoothly as a result," she adds.
Take a dip.
You can be intense, to say the least. "What overloads you is feeling under the microscope—not feeling like you have your privacy," says Edut. A place where you can go and be alone that involves water (think Jacuzzi tub or a bathtub) is what helps you best unwind. No surprise there: The sounds of nature, such as flowing H20, are inherently calming, shows research.
Pack your bags.
You are a fire sign, which means you're a mover. "You're very much focused on truth and philosophy and worldly pursuits," says Rogers. As a wanderer, if you don't have your freedom, or feel like you're boxed in in some way that prevents you from stepping outside of your comfort zone, you're apt to get cranky. Bust stress by pursuing activities that put you in a different, foreign-to-you space. Book a trip (anticipation of a vacation can be one big mood booster), sign up to learn a new language or stay in your neighborhood and try a new cuisine.
Commune with nature.
You're known for being superhardworking and find it hard to unplug. "These are the CEOs of the zodiac," says Edut. Problem is, always being "on" is draining and can lead to burnout. Given that you're an earth sign, one-on-one time with nature is in your blood. Edut recommends planning an outdoor activity where you're forced to unplug, be it a hike in nature or gardening in your own backyard. On both fronts, there's a bevy of research showing these activities are inherently soothing to your nervous system.
Be with friends.
As an air sign, you're a thinker, superintelligent and very innovative. "You're known to be the rebel of the zodiac because you don't like conformity," says Rogers. Call it marching to the beat of your own drum. But when that song and dance is questioned, or your ideas are not understood, you have a hard time. Though those disputes can be good for you and help you grow, they can also become overwhelming. It's important to go be with your people—those who get you and love all your quirks and won't make fun of you for any idea. After all, research shows that having social support helps you stay calm and resilient in the face of stressful situations and also boosts feel-good hormones. "This will help you feel like you're getting back to your old self," says Rogers.
As a water sign, you're a feeler. "You love unconditionally and provide emotional support for others," says Rogers. But your empathy can throw you for a loop because you can easily absorb the feelings of others, which can be inherently overwhelming. "It's difficult to recognize what your stresses are and what stresses are from others," she adds. Being in solitude and daydreaming, or allowing your mind to wander, will put the brakes on runaway emotions. "Giving yourself regular space for reflection that doesn't require interaction will relieve a lot of the stress," she says.