Three Simple Ways to Calm Your Anxiety


I learned about this term “soul places” from a little boutique owner in Laguna Beach, and have now used it to describe the paces where I come most alive and feel most grounded - my favorite feeling.

I love the feeling of being led by my inner truth, and feeling like I am connected to a deeper source of life. When things become crazy and unbalanced and I need some grounding, it’s not always evident until these warning signs pop up: I’m extra critical of others, I’m overly sensitive and emotional to things I’m normally easy going about, I start to cancel or dread important meetings, and I start telling my friends I’m “going rogue,” which involves moving to Costa Rica to bartend and live off of coconut milk and papaya. These are my personal warning signs, but everyone’s are different.

Often with running a business you run on empty and find yourself caught up in too many meetings, running creatively dry, and generally just becoming a bit unpleasant by the end of the day. When I start to hit that spot, it’s time to try and get somewhere I can S-L-O-W down. For me there are a few escapes that help me get back to grounded. I go where I can either in the moment, or I try to plan something when I can anticipate a busy time coming to an end.


For instant gratification: I go somewhere I can be alone in nature.

Truth be told I’m not a beach person, BUT I live near the beach, so I use this place as an escape when I need to pull an emergency rip cord. I go ALL THE WAY to the end of the peninsula where there are virtually zero people, and sit. Sometimes I meditate, sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I journal, pray, or just walk around and hunt for sea glass.

The key for me is to reconnect to how vast and big this gorgeous earth is – which usually helps me see my troubles or anxiety for what they are – small.


For a quick trip: I go somewhere removed from my immediate environment that I don’t know well.

If I can clear a day or a half day off my schedule to go somewhere new, this helps me get grounded by forcing me out of my comfort zone. I then have to rely on my immediate desires and instincts to guide me. I love his because it feels so indulgent! I let myself have a chocolate croissant at a little roadside café, or pack a quick picnic from a gas station deli and sit in a field off some random hiking path. This may sound bizarre, which is the point. Go be random – research “cute towns near me” or “free hiking near me” and see where it takes you. Follow your own path and don’t be afraid to look weird – no one knows you where you are which is half the fun – no expectations to meet.

For a planned trip: I go somewhere that reminds me of my favorite place in nature: home.

I was blessed to grow up in a rural forested area. I LOVE being in the trees, and somewhere with seasons and fresh smells. If you can clearly see the night sky with no light pollution, count me IN. When I am coming off a busy season and know I’m facing burnout, I head for home or somewhere that reminds me of home. Being in Southern CA, few places meet those requirements. The closest I have found is Lake Arrowhead. But exploring other, more rural nearby counties and states has filled me up, when a big vacation is not in the cards.  

So, once I’m out in nature doing my Zen thang…then what?
  • Next, I wear clothes that make me feel most me . You know those outfits that are so on point, yet a bit quirky? Yep, those. For me, cowboy boots come into the mix, since I rarely get to wear them. They’re my soul shoe.  
  • I always bring a notebook and write A LOT. My feelings are typically most fresh and true in a new environment away from my demands. I get tons of new ideas, and resolve old ones. I make copious amounts of lists as well, so that I can capture the to do’s I will re-address at home.
  • Lastly, I listen to a lot of acoustic music. It helps me slow down, and feel taken care of. For me, positivity and love is what I want to surround me when I feel weak. For others, maybe hip hop or loud pop just takes them to a place that feels powerful – whatever floats your inner boat y’all.

If you ever feel the craziness of the world coming in on you, and like you want to run away – I say go. No, don’t move to Austin because you hear it’s so now and weird (that’s called running from your problems, and from personal experience, I don’t recommend that), just take a quick trip to a place where no one knows you, and you can be free to table your worries for just a day.

Bailey Van Tassel

Founder at Abel Impact

Bailey is the Founder and President of Abel Impact, a social responsibility firm that helps business and families partner with charity to create meaningful do-good programming. Her background is in marketing, non-profit management, sales, and fundraising. She brings a wealth of knowledge from over eight years of studying the way the private sector interacts with the social sector, and is certified in non-profit evaluation. She has worked with companies like Google, MasterCard, Club Corp, and many others. Bailey’s passion lies in bridging the worlds of philanthropy and business, alongside her love for her family, yoga, cooking, and doing anything outside.