Stress less! How and why you should stress less!
Are you on the brink of exhaustion? You're too busy to make time for yourself? Life is just too damn busy for you to juggle?
We know the feeling, but don't worry, we are here to help! This blog will run you through some strategies to help relieve this overwhelming stress that you are experiencing.
Stress, also known as the fight or flight response, is actually a good thing, in small doses (much like an evil mother in law). Stress causes a hormone known as cortisol, to travel around the body, keeping your body alert and prepared for the stress at hand.
However, the modern world has us living very highly strung lifestyles. We are always hustling to ensure we are getting as much done as we can in 24 hours. This daily grind can have a devastating impact on our health and it can manifest into poor wellbeing.
Have you noticed that you're having trouble with your sleeping patterns, your energy levels, your mood, your blood pressure or even your digestive system? If so, this may be a result of chronic stress in your life.
There are many ways that we can help you get on top of your stress. We will initially address the aspects of your lifestyle that you might be willing to change. But, we are also able to support you through nutritional advice, herbs, relaxation techniques, other holistic therapies and so much more! The possibilities are endless.
What we consume to fuel our body can have a major impact on our nervous system. It is important to try to avoid inflammatory foods as much as possible in order to avoid overworking the body and it's ability to reduce inflammation.
An ideal diet would be addressing the following food groups on the daily;
- increase intake of antioxidants, omega 3s, probiotics and vitamins
- include a handful of nuts
- include 2 tablespoons of healthy oils
- limit starchy carbohydrate intake to 2 servings
- enjoy a minimum of 2 serves of fruit
- include a protein source in meals
- drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water
- include a minimum of 30 minutes physical activity
- include a minimum of 30 minutes of relaxation/fun activity
For individualised support, book in to see one of our Naturopaths or Acupuncturist!
We know that some individuals may find more stress in navigating their daily dietary habits. To help with this, these are our two top tips!
Set aside a day (maybe a Sunday) where you can plan out your meals for the week ahead. By doing this you can collate a big shopping list and do an organised shop once per week, because let's face it, who actually enjoys going grocery shopping every night? This won't only save you time but possibly money too! It's a win win!
Eat your Leftovers
Save even more time by cooking a double batch at dinner time and then eat your leftovers for lunch. This will be super helpful in keeping you accountable for eating healthy. Who doesn't love leftovers?
Coffee, some may refer to it as liquid gold! We know some people can simply not live without it, however did you know that it causes stress hormones to pump through your body in a time when you may not even need them?
To reduce the impact of the ample amounts of caffeine in your daily coffee, try to limit your consumption to just one a day. You could also try an alternative such as matcha, green tea or any preferred herbal tea. We love to browse local health stores for loose herbal teas, there is bound to be something for everyone!
Physical activity is also super important to reduce symptoms of chronic stress, however it is also known to be a major stressor for some. It is important to know that what works for someone else, may not work for you. You don't need to be spending an hour in the gym every day or training to run a marathon. If you don't know what works for you, you may find it in walking, dancing, yoga, absolutely anything!!
There is also such thing as over-exercising. This can place high demand on your nervous system, resulting in symptoms of chronic stress. Therefore, when it comes to exercise, make sure you are mindful of what your body needs, and what makes it feel good!
Did you know that mindful activities activate the parasympathetic nervous system of which brings about a response of relaxation through lowering blood pressure and decreasing the heart rate?
Mindfulness is something we all know we need, but we don't necessarily do. You might not be one to sit and meditate for an hour or even 30 minutes at that! But... you may be able to find something else that can calm your mind and therefore your nervous system.
If you are wanting to try out meditation, InsightTimer is a great app (that is free, might I add) that has something for everyone. From beginner guided meditations to 10 day courses, you are bound to find something on there that you can relax and or meditate to!
If meditation isn't for you, practicing gratitude is a simple way that you can re-focus your mind. You can practice this by writing, or thinking of at least 5 things that you are grateful for each and everyday.
If you're looking for a more simple way to relax the mind, you could also try a nice grounding walk along the beach or through the forest, listening to nothing other than the sounds around you!
Time to Test?
Amidst all that must be done, be sure to take time out of your day for yourself! And if you're looking for some extra support, don't be afraid to reach out to us here at the Healthful Wellness Clinic! We offer DUTCH Plus testing to get a clear understanding of how your stress is impacting your health and hormones.
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Healthful Wellness offers a calming and nurturing space for integrative health and wellness with a focus on women’s health. Our mission is to reach the underlying cause of illness and offer the care, support and guidance that you need and deserve to achieve optimal health and inner wellness.