In TZR’s Scare-Free Sundays franchise, industry leaders discuss the all-too-common weekend anxiety (known as Sunday Scaries) that can rob one of the relaxation and rest they need. desperately needs to face the coming week well. Here we sit down with acupuncturist and wellness expert Juhi Singh who discusses the stress-busting strategies she employs.
While some might think that health experts like Juhi Singh, who spent years counseling and treating clients at his New York-based wellness center Juhi Ash Center (which closed in December 2021) and with its Pure Essentials supplement label, are nearly free from common mental health issues like anxiety, stress, and the dreaded “Sunday Scaries,” you would be seriously mistaken. In fact, when juggling multiple businesses, motherhood, and a near-fatal case of COVID, individuals like Singh are often the most sought-after targets.
“This year has been interesting to say the least,” Singh says in a phone interview with TZR. “I was hospitalized for a month and I was in intensive care on a ventilator and they had given me a 10 per cent chance of surviving. So coming out of this […] it was about creating an environment and a life in which I wanted to thrive and live, not just continue to exist.
Faced with such difficult circumstances, Singh explains that she had to follow the advice she often gives to her patients. “The first question I ask is, ‘What makes you happy?’ “says the health professional. “And I think I forgot about that for myself. So this past year has been about healing. It’s been about real rebirth from within and creating an environment that I wanted to wake up everyday and be really happy.
Rebirth indeed. Singh explains that everything from the food she eats to how she spends her Sunday evenings is designed for optimal joy and mindfulness. Ahead, find out how this wellness expert battles stress at work and whatever else life throws at it.
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What common or typical anxieties or concerns do you face before a busy work week?
I mean, there’s a long to-do list I have for the week… I think [anxieties I face come from] just do it all, have a list, cross everything off the list, and make sure I’m efficient in everything I do. So for me, I also own a vitamin and supplement company called Pure Essentials that has been around for over 20 years. Also, I am a mother and we are opening another centre. Thus, the weekend is the time to calm down. And then as Sunday night approaches, the anxiety begins to mount [which looks like] running insomnia, nausea, lack of appetite and just that general fear.
How do you have/combat these types of intrusive thoughts?
As someone with anxiety, I really took the time to understand what works and what doesn’t. And I think writing things down so that it’s clear and in front of you rather than having some sort of spiraling snowball is a really effective way to tame those thoughts that can get out of control. Meditation is absolutely another [method I use] — I can’t express how important it is to clear your mind. And you can’t clear your mind until you know what’s on your mind. So, being consciously aware of where your thoughts are and being able to proactively let them go as needed, because you are consciously aware of them, is part of what meditation teaches you.
What does your Sunday night routine look like?
To calm what’s causing these feelings [of anxiety] every Sunday evening, I like to take a bath. It’s about actively doing something. It’s not allowing yourself to sit [the stress]. I try to [take baths] as often as possible because, for me, it’s really important. It calms the nervous system. I use essential oils which are also very good for the nervous system to help calm. And that’s a good kind of 25 minutes of time for me.
Do you do anything in particular to mentally prepare yourself for the week ahead?
I love vision boards and usually try to do them at the start of the year, but I like to create a little vision board for the week. Your intention is so powerful. Every thought manifests at the cellular level and creates energy. Writing down what you want, cutting out pictures of what you want for the week kind of helps get everything under control and helps you visualize very clearly what you want and what you don’t want. I think that’s the most important thing is to figure out what you want and get rid of what you don’t want.
Music is also something that I find very useful. When you feel anxious or overwhelmed, I think music is something we can turn to that helps us get out of our current state and into another state very quickly. And it’s something that we have, that almost everyone has at their fingertips.
Interesting. What specifically do you listen to that helps you?
I love Enya. She is my favourite. His voice just calms me down.
When do your Sunday Scaries creep in? What do they like?
They usually start around Saturday evening. But here’s the thing, it’s consciously allowing yourself to choose one thought over another, over which you have control, right? Before [COVID] I would approach it without even thinking about it. I would just be in it.
I think the power of being able to let go of it and see what happens also helps you recognize when it’s happening and then how you can best mitigate it. So if it creeps in on Saturday night, it’s like, I admit it and I let it go.
A secret electrical product, practice, or mechanism you turn to to overcome Sunday fears?
Meditation. Also, as you know, I own Pure Essentials. The brand includes vitamins and supplements, but they are medical grade. So you absorb about 98% of what you ingest, as opposed to a lot of what’s on the market. I actually created a formula called Pure Zen for myself and my patients. [which is not available on the Pure Essentials site]. It’s just l-theanine and GABA to control the nervous system. Apart from that, I have the music at my fingertips. I created a playlist and then, in my bathroom, I kind of have a favorite space where I vaporize essential oils and practice deep breathing.
Do you have strict rules that you follow on weekends or OOO days to avoid working or thinking about work?
I don’t like going out very late. That wouldn’t have been my answer three years ago! Now, when I’m tired, I leave. I am also very careful with my diet. Honestly, now that I’ve faced death and come out the other side, I realize it’s all so, so simple. We really complicate everything. It’s what you choose to bring and what you choose to drop. But it’s up to you at the end of the day.
I think the use of your voice is also very important. I didn’t use my voice before. I was definitely a “yes” person and a people-pleasing person, and in an effort to take care of everyone, I forgot about the person who needed to be cared for the most. Eat the food, wear soft clothes, take a bath, listen to the music, dance to the song. Do the things that make you happy.