Life kicking your butt? If you’re scrambling to find a way to flip the “off” switch on your worries, just keep your chin up … way up. And aim it toward the stars. You see, astrology has something to say about which antidote could help you alleviate your stress.
“When people are stressed out, looking for something outside of themselves is always helpful,” says New York City astrologer Annabel Gat. “Astrology is a fantastic way to get to know yourself, and it helps you get a better perspective on why you might be stressed and how you can ease it.”
Each star sign is its own force of nature, so even though one particular tension-reliever might work wonders for someone else, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be your cup of tea. Here, astrologers dish on the best ways to chill out, according to your zodiac sign.
There’s no place for Aries in second place. As the first sign of the zodiac, this determined ram will do anything—even butt heads with people they care about—in order to claim the top spot in every facet of life. “Not only do Aries want to show everyone they are number one; they want to do it in the fastest way possible. Aries is the impatient sign, and action is their middle name,” says Astrobabe, a New York City astrologist. “They don’t like the word ‘no,’ so they can get stressed when they are held back or made to wait for long periods of time.”
There are two ways Aries can keep all that bundled-up energy in check: Either channel it into an intense physical activity or just hit the brakes altogether and savor a more mellow pastime. “Releasing their need for control and easing their competitive nature into a more cooperative energy is highly recommended. A hardcore workout is one of the best methods for them to let it all go,” says astrologist Sharita Star. “Equally, time alone is recommended to not only slow down their naturally quick pace but also mindfully reflect upon how nine times out of 10, whatever is going on isn’t about them in the first place.”
Feeling safe—whether it’s in their love life, their finances, or what have you—plays a big part in Taurus’ happiness. So when they’re pushed into a situation that they’re not comfortable with, that’s when their stress levels are most likely to skyrocket. “This sign is extremely security-oriented,” says Star. “Activities that allow them to get back to that grounded space they work so well from are the ones that bring them the best results and overall peace of mind.”
According to Gat, anything that will allow Taurus’ to get in touch with their bodies and tap into their five senses will help them reconnect with their safe place. This could include anything from listening to music, to getting a massage, to trying a delicious new food recipe. “Even wearing your favorite snazzy undergarments and simply lounging around can renew your energy levels and make you feel cozy,” says Astrobabe. “Just don’t forget the exercise!”
The social butterfly of the zodiac, Geminis rarely have a moment of down time. Between going out with friends, spending time with the fam, and overachieving at work, their calendars tend to get clogged up pretty quickly. Constant stimulation is just as necessary to them as oxygen, but there eventually comes a point where there are just too many balls in the air for Gemini to juggle. “Geminis are intellectual, chatty and busy, and they get really stressed out when they have too much to do,” says Gat. “They need to be mindful of how much they put on their plate and how many promises they make to people. If they’re not sure they can keep a promise, it’s totally okay to say so and give themselves some wiggle room.”
Keeping things simple and occasionally ducking out of the social scene is your best bet for beating stress. “Dimming the lights once in a while just to sit and watch the sunset or taking a walk on the beach can help renew your energy and replace your ever-present need to gab, gab, gab,” says Astrobabe. Breathing exercises can also help keep your scattered mind centered and focused.
“Cancers are really concerned about the people around them. If they see that someone they care about isn’t doing very well, then that’s definitely going to stress them out because Cancers are natural nurturers,” says Gat. “But it also stresses Cancers out when people get really up in their space, so if there are weak boundaries surrounding a Cancer, then that’s going to make them very stressed out too.”
Spending time at home either cuddling with a loved one or enjoying a great meal with family can do wonders for keeping a Cancer’s inner caregiver happy and anxiety-free. But it’s also important for them to remember to carve out some “me time” and take care of themselves too, which they often forget to do. “Time alone works well for Cancer to naturally reflect,” says Star. “A walk along the beach or swimming can equally wash all of your worries right away.”
Cool and confident, Leos are happiest when they’re basking in the spotlight. They definitely love a good ego-stroke now and again, but their uncanny ability to capture the attention and admiration of the people around them can give the deceitful appearance that nothing can get under their skin. “Leos will often pretend that things don’t stress them out, but they totally do,” says Gat. “They’re kind of similar to Aries in that once they become irritated, anything can throw them over the edge, but they’re also kind of similar to Cancers in that they really like to nurture people. So if they see that someone they care for is struggling or making bad decisions, that’s really going to trigger them.”
Since their protective nature can lead them to taking on a lot of personal responsibility for the issues going on around them, Leos need to balance out their powerful lion heart with some happy-go-lucky entertainment. “Leo needs to de-stress by having fun: going to a party, singing, dancing, going to comedy shows… just having a good time,” says Gat. (Dance your way fit with High-Intensity Dance Cardio, the first-ever socanomics DVD!)
“Plain and simple, Virgos can think too much,” says Astrobabe. “Their Mercury ruler keeps them in their heads and always analyzing, so they tend to be overly critical—especially of themselves.” The constant drive for perfection can cause Virgos to work themselves to the bone, leading them so deep into the woods that it’s hard to escape their own thoughts.
“Virgos are the perfect candidates for any routine that gets them out of their logical mind, which they can question and doubt all too much,” says Star. “Any activities that ground their mind and allow them to feel pure and cleansed—like gardening, yoga or meditation—are ideal to implement into their regular life.” They can also benefit from letting loose with their friends, or setting aside some quiet time to explore their sensuality and get to know themselves again. Try something out-of-the-ordinary, like an exotic oil bath, to break out of your shell.
Because Libras want to please everyone, they often fall into the trap of making too many commitments to too many people, consequently stretching themselves much too thin and throwing their inner tranquility off-kilter. “Their symbol is the scale, so honoring balance and relationships are the keys to peace of mind in their life,” says Star.
When Librans have lost their equilibrium, surrounding themselves with beauty—in any shape or form—can help them squash their stress and re-establish harmony. Heading to a museum to appreciate a great work of art, using your own creativity to redecorate your house, or even window-shopping for a hot new pair of shoes is like a magic cure for your heavy heart. “Graceful activities like ballet, Pilates, or other ‘balancing’ types of exercise could also restore a Libra’s serenity,” says Astrobabe.
Passionate and intense, the Scorpio has the tendency to become a little obsessive. Once an intrusive thought creeps into their head, it’s darn near impossible for them to get it out.
“Scorpios are the detectives of the zodiac, and when you put them in a little bit of an uncomfortable situation, they’re going to start digging through the trash, catastrophizing things, and blowing them out of proportion,” says Gat.
The number-one way for a Scorpio to soothe the sometimes-unfounded negativity floating around in their head is to sit back and be pampered: “Being massaged, getting a facial, and really being taken care of will make a Scorpio feel safe,” says Gat. “Scorpio is also the sign of sex, so getting laid is the perfect way for them to decompress.” Indulging in a steamy sex position with a partner, or even going at it alone with an orgasmic sex toy, will melt away whatever doomsday you’ve created for yourself.
These daydreamers are always up for taking on an adventure and checking out new places, but sometimes their roaming spirit can lead them straight to exhaustion … and other stressors. “Like the Gemini and Libra, Sagittarius can take on a lot of responsibilities and agree to way too much on their social calendar,” says Gat. To add to that, they are also very generous, which means they can go out with friends for a drink and pick up the tab because they’re just so excited to be hanging out with everyone, even if they don’t necessarily have the money to spend.”
Traveling and escaping the everyday is one of the best ways for Sagittarians to feed their gypsy souls, but they just have to make sure they’re not doing it in a way that puts a hole in their pocket. “You don’t have to pack your bags and jump on the next flight to get out of here,” says Gat. “Just going to a different environment from what you’re in is enough. Find some local things you like so you’re not dropping $2,000 every time you need to de-stress. It’s just not practical.”
If there’s one word out there to perfectly sum up the Capricorn, it’s workaholic. They live, breathe, and eat their responsibilities. And while the rest of us are counting down the days to the weekend, this busy little half-fish, half-goat is looking for ways to climb that corporate ladder. And as anyone with a mountain-high to-do list can tell you, checking off everything that needs to get done can really run you straight into the ground. “Capricorns take on a lot of work, and sometimes they will take on responsibilities without realizing they’ve taken on too much, and that really stresses them out,” says Gat.
While they might like to say that they’re too busy to relax, Capricorns need to get far, far away from the nine-to-five grind in order to keep their wits about them. “Yes, they may be conquering the world, but it’s good for them to connect with their bodies and have some fun once in a while,” says Astrobabe. Since they’re an earth sign, getting back to nature can really help keep the sea-goat from drowning itself in errands. Astrobabe suggests hitting the mountains for some hiking, skiing, or rock-climbing. If you’d rather not spend your hard-earned cash on a big trip to the slopes, Star recommends mentally checking out with yoga and meditation.
Of all the zodiac signs, Aquarius has the toughest time chilling out because they are such big thinkers that they simply can’t get out of their own heads. “They are the most creative and inventive sign, but they have a tendency to overthink and get burned out,” says Gat. “Humanitarian issues also really stress Aquarians out.” They use up so much of their brain’s energy trying to solve everyone’s problems that they push their own well-being aside and risk blowing a fuse, rendering themselves mentally stagnant.
“Being that Aquarius is always trying to save the world, they need to schedule important time away in order to continue finding solutions for the betterment of humanity,” says Star. “Solitary ways to get away from it all are recommended for this innovative sign to recharge and regroup. Meditation works marvelously for them, and so does yoga.” Astrobabe also suggests going on a technology “fast” and completely shutting off your phone and internet for a few days, just to take a break from any negative news that might spur you to action. Here’s one thing you can do instead of web-surfing: According to Gat, all Aquarians have a quirky hobby that they’re into, so indulging in your favorite out-of-the ordinary pastime could help you hang up your superhero cape, even if it’s just for a little while.
“Some people might think that Pisces doesn’t get stressed out by much because Pisces can be a flaky fish. They’re dreamy, imaginative, and creative, and they come and go as they please,” says Gat. “But in actuality, they’re extremely empathetic and tend to take on everyone else’s problems. If someone else is feeling something, Pisces is going to feel it too, and that will really stress them out—especially if they’re in a room full of people who are very angry or experiencing a lot of hardship.”
Pisceans greatly benefit from diving into expressive, artsy activities—like drawing or singing—says Astrobabe, and aromatherapy and meditation can help calm the sometimes-stormy ocean in their heart. Like Aquarians, they would also do well to create a healthy boundary between themselves and their environment, occasionally disconnecting from their impulse to save others all the time. “Even slapping on some headphones when they go out on their subway commute so they don’t have to listen to all the crazy conversations going on around them is a great way for Pisces to unwind,” says Gat. And because Pisces is the ruler of the feet, never underestimate the healing power of a kick-ass foot massage or soak.