(Scare-Free Sundays)

Wellness Expert Juhi Singh Swears By This Music To Beat Anxiety

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Photo: Juhi Singh

In TZR’s franchise Scare-Free Sundays, industry leaders discuss the all-too-common weekend anxiety (known as the Sunday Scaries) that can rob one of the relaxation and rest they so desperately need to properly take on the week ahead. Here, we sit down with acupuncturist and wellness expert Juhi Singh who discusses the stress-fighting strategies she employs.

While some might think health experts like Juhi Singh, who’s spent years counseling and treating clients at her NYC-based wellness center Juhi Ash Center (which closed in December 2021) and with her supplement label Pure Essentials, are almost exempt from common mental health issues like anxiety, stress, and the dreaded “Sunday Scaries,” you’d be sorely mistaken. In fact, when juggling multiple businesses, motherhood, and a near-fatal case of COVID, individuals like Singh are often the most prime of targets.

“This year has been interesting to say the least,” reflects Singh in a phone interview with TZR. “I was hospitalized for a month and I was in the ICU on a ventilator and they'd given me a 10% chance of surviving. So, in coming out of that [...] it became about creating an environment and a life that I wanted to thrive in and live, not just keep existing in.”

In facing such dire circumstances, Singh explains she had to take the advice she often imparts on her patients. “The first question I ask is, ‘What makes you happy?’” says the health pro. “And I think I had forgotten that for myself. So, this past year has been about healing. It's been about a rebirth truly from the inside out and about creating an environment that I wanted to wake up in every day and be really happy.”

Rebirth indeed. Singh explains that everything from the food she eats to even how she spends her Sunday evenings is designed for optimal joy and mindfulness. Ahead, read how this wellness expert battles work stress and anything else life throws at her.

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What are some common or typical anxieties or concerns you face ahead of a busy work week?

I mean, there's a laundry list of tasks that I have for the week ... I think [anxieties I face come from] just getting everything done, having a list, crossing all the items off of the list, and making sure that I’m effective at whatever it is that I’m doing. So, for me, I also own a vitamin and supplement company called Pure Essentials that's been around for over 20 years. Also, I'm a mother and we're starting another center. So, the weekend is the time to calm down. And then as Sunday night approaches, the anxiety starts to rile up [which looks like] common sleeplessness, nausea, lack of appetite, and just that overall dread.

How have you/do you combat those types of intrusive thoughts?

As someone who's suffered from anxiety, I have really taken the time to sort of figure out the things that work and what don't work. And I think that writing things down so that it's clear and it's in front of you as opposed to having a sort of spiraling snowball is a really effective way at taming those thoughts that can get out of hand. 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 occupies your thoughts. So, consciously being aware of where your thoughts are and being able to proactively let them go as you need, because you're consciously aware of them is partly what meditation teaches you.

What does your Sunday evening routine look like?

To calm what's causing these feelings [of anxiety] every Sunday night I like to take a bath. It's about actively doing something. It's not allowing yourself to sit in [the stress]. I try to [take baths] as often as I can because, for me, it's really important. It calms the nervous system. I use essential oils that are also really good for the nervous system to help calm. And it's a good, like 25 minutes of just ‘me’ time.

Do you do anything in particular to mentally prepare yourself for the week ahead?

I'm big on vision boards and usually try to do them in the beginning of the year, but I kind of like creating a small vision board for the week. Your intention is so powerful. Every thought manifests on a cellular level and creates energy. Writing down what you want, cutting out pictures of what you want for the week helps sort of reign everything in 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 to be very helpful. When you feel like you are getting anxious or overwhelmed, I think music is one thing that we can turn to that very quickly helps us get out of our current state and into another state. And it's something that we have, that almost everybody has at their fingertips.

Interesting. What do you listen to specifically that helps you?

I love Enya. She’s my go-to. Her voice just calms me.

When do your Sunday Scaries creep in? What are they like?

They typically start around Saturday evening. But here's the thing, it's consciously allowing yourself to choose one thought over another, which you have control over, right? Before [COVID] I would approach it without even thinking about it. I'd just be in it.

I think the power of being able to separate yourself from it and see what's going on helps you also recognize when it's happening and then how you can best alleviate it. So if it creeps in on Saturday night, it's like, I acknowledge it and I'm letting it go.

Any secret power product, practice, or mechanism you turn to to overcome Sunday Scaries?

Meditation. Also, as you know, I own Pure Essentials. The brand includes vitamins and supplements, but they're medicinal grade. So, you're absorbing about 98% of what you're ingesting as opposed to a lot of what's on the market. I actually created a formula called Pure Zen for myself and for 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 music at my fingertips. I created a playlist and then, in my bathroom, I sort of have a go-to area where I steam with essential oils and practice deep breathing.

Do you have any strict rules you abide by during the weekends or OOO days to avoid working or thinking about work?

I don't like to go out very late. That wouldn't have been my answer three years ago! Now, when I'm tired, I leave. I'm really careful about my nutrition, as well. Honestly, now having faced death and coming out on the other side, I realize it's all so, so simple. We really complicate everything. It's what you choose to bring in and what you choose to let go of. But it's up to you at the end of the day.

I think using your voice is really important, too. I didn't use my voice before. I definitely was a ‘yes’ person and a people-pleaser and, in an effort to take care of everybody, I forgot the person that needed taking care of the most. Eat the food, wear the soft clothes, take the bath, listen to the music, dance to the song. Do the things that make you happy.