At times life hands us challenges which we may or may not deal with optimally. As much as we would like to be more logical, optimistic and perhaps slightly more methodical when facing our demons we sometimes fail spectacularly. In short, when stress enters the room things can get out of hand quickly.
Stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, flood the body and prepares you for emergency action (fight or flight) which is very helpful if we are in mortal danger but in daily life less so. Many situations can trigger stress and it does not necessarily have to involve the classic topics such as divorce, separation, house move or death. In equal measure it can relate to ordinary stuff which we feel we have lost control of, such as an overwhelming job, building works that never ends, disputes with mothers on the playground, teenage children and their tantrums, secondary school choices and exams, worry about the future and finances etc.
In times of stress it is important that we look after ourselves a little extra to ensure we do not deplete our energy resources but instead boost our adrenal glands. Here are some top tips:
- Juice. Nothing hits your system quicker than a veg juice so make sure you choose mineral rich green, leafy veg and helpful spices (kale/spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon, apple, ginger for example – but play around with seasonal veg too). Stick your juicer on the kitchen counter and let it remain there. It’s no use keeping it in a cupboard.
- Eat as many whole foods as you can find and cut out any processed or sugary foods. Order a weekly organic veg box and experiment making autumn curries with as many veg as you can put in (slow cooked veg stews, fresh salads with oily fish and beans, veg curries with brown rice to name a few).
- Drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day – try at least 2 litres/day.
- Eat regularly and often. A body running on empty will give your nervous system more to do on less fuel. Have a healthy breakfast which also includes protein and fats (porridge and coconut milk with a boiled/poached egg and an avocado with sea salt for example).
- Try to get a good eight hours of sleep to help your nervous system restore and revive. Read a book before bedtime and ditch the iPad which can jazz up your system unnecessarily. Drink a cup of herbal tea and make an evening meditation in which you visualise your night of restful sleep.
- Avoid evening gym session and instead do some gentle stretches which supports your body and prepares for relaxing.
- Take a warm bath filled lavender oil and listen to calming music. Nothing soothes like a warm bath; dim the light, breathe in the lavender oil and try to empty your mind of racing thoughts. Whatever your problem is, right this moment all you have to do is sit in the bath and do nothing. This is your time.
- Useful supplements are Vitamin B, Omega 3 fatty acids, Siberian Ginseng, Magnesium, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C. In addition you can take turmeric capsules which will give you a boost of curcumin, the ingredient in turmeric which has the much desired anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties we read about.
Last but not least, chill out. Make sure you take time to sit down, mono-task and focus on the thing you are doing right this moment. It is ok to not finish everything on your to-do list. Stay healthy and breathe. Hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.