Today I wanted to talk about a topic that I’m sure we can all relate to.
That is stress.
Stress is a BIG issue for many people and is one of the areas I help people with quite a bit in my health practice.
Some time back I wrote a post here at Whole New Mom on adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue can be an endpoint of too much stress and trust me; it’s not a place any of us want to end up if we can help it. That’s why it’s a good idea to be aware when you are under stress and put a few simple things in place to help manage it better.
The unfortunate truth is that in today’s modern world none of us are totally immune to stress because we are simply surrounded by it all the time.
Life is just so switched on these days, wouldn’t you agree? I know I just never seem to have enough hours in the day and there’s always a million things to think about and do.
And then sometimes you just seem to be thrown a curve ball and things can start to unravel.
So what can we do to relieve some of this stress? Well we can actually do quite a lot and although we won’t cover everything today, I’ve got a few tips to share that I hope you will find helpful.
4 Great Tips for Stress Relief and Stress Management
First, let’s talk about our normal response under stress because this is a key area we need to be aware of.
1. Be Proactive
One of the interesting things that I’ve observed and learned from my own experiences with stress is that we tend to take less care of ourselves under stress.
We start putting ourselves last.
We go to bed later because we need to get things done, we eat more sugar and junk and drink more coffee.
We tend to let things slide when what we really need to do is become more proactive and take better care of ourselves. This is not something that comes naturally.
I still work on this myself because I am the kind of person who always tries to do a million projects at once.
But I must admit that I am much better at saying "no" than I was years ago, and I am also better at recognizing signs of stress so that I can be slightly more proactive. This is a key area we need to be aware of. If we can recognize when we are “in stress”, then we can start to do a few things for ourselves, instead of going against what we really need.
2. Take a breath and work in your circle of influence
Breathe in, breathe out, just close your eyes and focus on your breath for just a minute and bring yourself into the present moment.
Under stress, we can be all over the place and everything seems amplified. It seems like everything is out of our control and while some things might be, try not to focus on these things too much.
Instead, focus on your circle of influence. This is a concept I picked up from author Stephen Covey.
Recognize what is in your circle of concern but think about what things you can change or work on right now to make a difference, your circle of influence. This makes the circle of concern smaller and the circle of influence larger and brings about positive change so much faster.
3. Don’t let your sleep suffer
Sleep can often get affected under stress and we may find ourselves with erratic sleep patterns.
Restless, not being able to get to sleep, waking up in the middle of the night, that type of thing.
Supplements for Sleep
If you have trouble sleeping a couple of great supplements include phosphatidylserine, a supplement that helps restore cortisol patterns (our key stress hormone) to normal. Cortisol can often be responsible for those erratic sleep patterns.
Valerian is also a natural sleep aid that can be useful. To restore balance and help our body and mind deal better with stress what we need to do is get as much sleep and rest as we can when we can.
A Quick Restful Activity
A quick rest can do wonders for you. It might sound crazy, but you can always do something as simple as lying on your floor at home or even your office floor on a towel with your eyes closed for 10 minutes. However you can do it, just get some rest as you are able.
Of course, getting to bed early is crucial for better health and will help you deal with stressors more effectively.
4. Try to Eat Well
What we eat affects how we feel, how we function, how our body reacts, and also the strength of our immune system.
Like I pointed out above, we do have a tendency to eat more sugar and junk when under stress but it only contributes to the problem. On the other hand, eating well will support you to keep on going without ending up sick on the other side.
I know cooking doesn’t seem like a high priority in these circumstances BUT your health is important so try to put it higher on your list.
I often turn to my crockpot and I also have a list of fast 15-minute meals I can turn to. A Pressure Cooker is also a great resource for quick meals.
These are the types of things that can take a bit of time and thought to develop for yourself, but the time you invest in doing it is well worth the effort.
There is no doubt that when it comes to dealing with stress we do need to do a bit of pre-thinking. We also need to be aware when it hits and take that little bit of extra energy to care for ourselves.
So the 4 key tips to relieve stress and manage it better are:
- Be proactive
- Breathe and work in your circle of influence
- Sleep and rest when you can
- Eat well
These simple things are often enough to avoid ending up with burnout, fatigue, or illness. I hope you find them helpful.
If you’d like to read more info about nutrition and lifestyle management for stress and fatigue, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll work on some new posts for you in the near future.
What are YOUR Best Tips for Reducing Stress?
What do you need to work on most?
Jedha Dening is the Nutritionist and Health Coach behind Good Food Eating. She’s also a mom, passionate writer, and lover of good food that’s also good for your waistline. With over 10 years of experience in health and wellness, Jedha is passionate about taking care of people’s nutrition and health so they can feel fantastic everyday. When she’s not cooking, researching or writing about nutrition, she can usually be found in the great outdoors gardening, bushwalking, or kayaking.