7 Stress-Relieving Intentions We All Need To Set This Fall
Ko Im, RYT-200, is a Columbia School of Journalism graduate who received her lovingkindness certificate through the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. She has been recognized by the Juno Women’s Leadership at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies.
We're all getting back into the grind, if we weren't churning away already. But the fall—aka the start of school, a new quarter, Fashion Week, pumpkin spice latte season—doesn't have to feel so frenetic.
Setting intentions can help, especially in the swirl of autumn. They give us a second to pause and anchor the day, the week, even the entire season. They center, root, and ground us as a North Star, so we don't get distracted or feel swept away without anything to hang onto. They can help us take a moment, stick to our goals, and accomplish our dreams.
You can repeat intentions as a stress-managing mantra meditation any time of the day—as many times as you need.
An intention shouldn't feel like dead weight or hard-and-fast rules but a kind reminder. You can set an intention or repeat intentions as a stress-management mantra meditation any time of the day for as many times as you need. Or, write them down and post them somewhere you can see them, as they surprise and delight you—like on the kitchen fridge, in your bathroom mirror, or even as a background for your phone.
Here are a few starter intentions and how to live them:
1. I will pay attention.
It's easy to lose sight of things when there are a lot of obligations, tasks, and people to manage. Pay attention to what's grabbing your attention. Take a step back with a mental snapshot, look at the big picture, then narrow down into the necessary details. Listen to what's going on around you and within you, so you don't miss anything.
2. I will slow down.
We're already lamenting on summer's passing, and time may feel like it's zooming by. Slowing yourself down helps change the pacing of your day. It's nourishing to find a few moments when you can take it down a notch. Move as if you're in slow motion instead of rushing. Or find a few minutes to sit down to catch the chaos around you instead of adding to it. Plowing through the bucket list can feel great, but you can also be the eye of the storm when it comes by.
3. I will remember to take care of myself.
Taking a timeout isn't just for kids. You have to take care of yourself to take care of others. Recharge by carving out some time in your schedule—in advance—for solo, quiet, or even bath time, or by taking advantage when a time slot arises. And take preventive measures, too, or get a little extra hand with something. For example, AnxioCalm® from the Terry Naturally brand can help quiet the nerves and relieve occasional anxiety and worry around daily stresses for anyone who needs a little extra support. It's made with a special species of echinacea, which has many benefits but has particularly been shown to help reduce feelings of occasional anxiety and tension.*
4. I will stay grounded.
Stick with your passions, principles, and must-do's so you can prioritize. Having boundaries with friends and other commitments is a healthy way to maintain a sense of balance and centering, so you don't feel pushed, taken advantage of, or out of sync. Plant your symbolic feet on the ground and feel free to walk away.
5. I will celebrate small wins.
Making it every day and every season is a huge accomplishment! It's so easy to get down on ourselves when we don't get anything, or all of it, done. One small step and win at a time. We are always evolving.
6. I will be flexible.
On that note, not everything will go our way every time. Don't get bogged down by the inevitable changes, schedules, and, let's say, traffic, that is out of our control. Instead, pivot with them and make it a chance to practice your creativity and management skills. Face a new task or challenge with ease and focus rather than frantic energy. Flexibility is strength. Stretch your mind.
7. I will move with love.
Why are you doing what you're doing? How are you doing it? Bringing compassion vs. criticism into your everyday can have a significant impact on your thoughts and, therefore, your moods. Gather the love without judgment in your life.
Set your intentions, and flow freely through the fall. Pick the ones that speak to you, or feel free to shift them as needed. Move forward—with intention.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.