Five Element Fixes: Feeling Antisocial

Dear Readers: Welcome to a new feature of the Ask Vicki blog! Over the years, in addition to questions regarding relationships, as a naturopathic physician I’ve been asked about a variety of other issues. Questions regarding physical concerns, certainly, but also emotional, mental, and even spiritual issues, as well. And in truth, they are all relationships questions because they address how we relate to ourselves and our environment.

The answers to these questions are usually short and sweet, but also rational and logical. And of course, they are grounded in the Five Elements model! The information seems more important now than ever before, so I’d like to share some of these with you here. 

Question: During the pandemic, many of my friends are socializing day and night on Zoom, and sometimes even in person, but I just don’t feel like it, even though I know it would be good for me. How can I convince myself to be more social?

Answer:  When you aren’t feeling like it, but want to be social, rub lavender or rosemary essential oil behind your ears.

Why: This is a difficult time for everyone. In so many ways, “normal” life just isn’t normal anymore. Being asked to manage this level of change will absolutely throw our energies out of balanced. 

The energy that governs the desire to connect with people is found in the Fire element. Perfectly balanced Fire energy will always want to engage with other people, ideally in a fun and outgoing way. Too little Fire energy will lessen this desire to engage.

But the best fix isn’t necessarily to build Fire energy. That’s because too much Fire energy creates panic, and during a pandemic, panic around contagion will also cause people to avoid social situations.

The ideal fix for socialization issues is to balance the Fire energy in our personalities, and the scent of both lavender and rosemary essential oils does just that. Wearing either oil on your skin is an easy to way to experience this fix. But you can also put the oil in a room diffuser or place some on a tissue and inhale it throughout the day. 

And of course, it goes without saying that if you do not feel safe socializing in person, please do not. But with a little help from lavender or rosemary essential oil, you might find that you actually enjoy socializing online or in other safe ways.

Stay safe and well,


Managing the Stress Created by Coronavirus

Dear Readers: Thank you so much for your positive response to last week’s blog offering insights into how each of the elemental personalities might handle the isolation and confinement associated with the coronavirus pandemic. I am deeply grateful for your positive comments.

I’ve also heard from many of you that the stress associated with the coronavirus pandemic has been hard to manage. Certainly, it is stressful to worry whether you and your loved ones will manage to stay healthy as the virus spreads around the globe. It is stressful to wonder if there will be adequate healthcare should someone you love need it. And it is stressful to ponder how best to keep your household running and adequately supplied when faced with layoffs, shortages, and shelter in place orders.

There is no doubt that the concerns associated with COVID-19 have thrust most of us into a state of prolonged stress. When added to whatever stress we were experiencing in our individual lives prior to the pandemic, we are likely experiencing significant imbalance in our energies. But we have choices in how we address this stress, and the Five Elements model offers us informed options.

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Can Water Find Love Without Drowning?

Dear Vicki: I appreciate the Five Elements model and regularly read your blog even though I’m not good at relationships. I long for a deep connection with another human being, but most of my relationships end up disasters. As a Water, I sometimes find that the person I am dating completely overwhelms me. I feel like I am drowning in them, which scares me, and I have to leave. Other times, I think I am in love, but then become fearful that they will leave me. You have said here that Water people are loners, and I do need alone time, but what if I don’t want to be alone all the time anymore? Can I find love without losing myself? Signed Lonely in Lancaster

Dear Lonely: It is absolutely possible for Waters to have deep and lasting relationships without losing themselves. But a relationship for a Water will look different than a relationship for an Earth, Fire, Wood, or Metal. What’s most important is that you understand your own needs when in relationship. Then, when you’re considering a relationship with someone, make a good guess regarding their element and be sure you understand what they’re going to need, too. You’ve done a great job articulating some of what Waters face when in relationship. You do want profound connections and you do need time alone. If you are out of balance, you will become fearful. Without boundaries, in nature water will flow everywhere, which can feel like being lost. But there is every reason to believe that you, as a Water, can find love and happiness in a relationship. Let’s consider how.

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