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,


Fire and Water: Are They Doomed?

Dear Vicki: I feel silly writing, but I’m having trouble with my boyfriend Wilson. We met at college last fall and in spite of the fact that he’s a quiet, serious guy, we hit it off. Even though I usually hate the cold, we had a lot of fun last winter ice skating, throwing snowballs, and drinking hot cocoa while we talked late into the night. But he started getting moody in the spring and no matter what I tried, he wouldn’t cheer up. Now, in the middle of this glorious summer, he’s grumpy and doesn’t want to do any fun things outside anymore. The beach is too hot. The tennis courts are too hot. Everything is too hot! And he doesn’t like my friends. I love summer, love the fun of outdoor parties and connecting with people, and can’t imagine why he’s complaining. From what little I’ve read about the Five Elements, I think I’m an Earth because connecting with people matters to me. Is this relationship doomed? Please let me know so I can find someone else to have fun with the rest of the summer. Signed: Loves the Sun

Dear Loves the Sun: No relationship is ever doomed as long as you understand each other and are willing to put a little effort into meeting each other’s needs. It’s also important to understand yourself, so let’s start there.

You could be an Earth; connections certainly matter to Earths. But they want deep, lasting connections and will work hard to keep them, no matter what. You don’t sound like you’re in a space to do that. However, there is another element that values connections, and that’s Fire. Fires tend toward quick and fun connections rather than looking for something that will stand the test of time. Fires also enjoy being busy, usually appreciate summer activities, and often don’t do well with cold weather. Honestly, this sounds a lot like you, so I suspect you’re a primary Fire, not Earth.

On the other hand, Wilson sounds like he could be a Water. They enjoy winter more than most and are usually much less enthralled with hot weather activities. And while Waters usually tend to be loners, when love strikes, they will connect on a one-to-one basis. Noisy gatherings aren’t their thing, but quiet time alone with someone special works. No one is better at talking late into the night than Waters, especially if the topic involves philosophy or esoteric ideas. Because winter is Water’s season, the approach of spring sometimes makes them uncomfortable as they are moved away from their comfort zone. And summer? It’s way outside that comfort zone! Remember how much you normally hate winter? As a Water, Wilson will feel pretty much the same way about summer.

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