Where I grew up in Sweden you went to the school which was closest to your house. Everyone knew how it worked and therefore there were no surprises when you came of age to move on to the Swedish equivalent of secondary school. Those who lived in my area went to the same school – job done! Here in England, on the other hand, things are not so straight forward. My children are preparing for a change of schools next year and the closer the date looms, the higher my stress levels soar. There are so many options, so many roads which they can travel, all with different benefits and concerns and it feels quite impossible to know what to choose.
To alleviate the stress and anxiety which comes from a lack of control when it comes to choosing the next leg of my kids’ education I have been trying to chill – in every which way. I’ve gone back to meditation which makes a difference very quickly, I am also trying to be more aware of my breathing, especially in times of worry, when it tends to become shallow and quick. When that happens I take time out and head for the bathroom only to do some deep breathing until I feel centered again. Counting to ten helps, counting to one hundred is even better.
I am also mindful of what I eat and I have gone back to my books on nutrition and health to device a diet which can help me get the appropriate nutrients to strengthen my immune system and re-charge my nervous system too. Common stress busters include avocado, apricots, bananas, asparagus, duck!, brazil nuts, seaweed, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, brown rice, soya beans, aduki beans, green tea and chamomile tea.
Seaweed reduces stress and promotes restful sleep
Seaweed is super excellent for helping with emotional health, stress reduction and insomnia. Known for its wide use in Japan they contain a wide range of minerals such as magnesium (calm your nerves and induce sleep) calcium (helps to stabilise moods) and iron (energy provider). Seaweed is also known to be great for hair and skin. Here is a very tasty salad I had for lunch today which will go some way to ensure you get lots of nutrients and stress busting minerals to help you plough through whatever it is you are facing. Enjoy!
Stress busting seaweed salad with sweet potato and figs (serves 2)
1 sweet potato, cubed
Handful of green beans, topped and tailed
Small handful of dried wakame seaweed, broken into bits
90-100g of your favorite leaves (I had spinach and rocket salad in the fridge)
3 figs, quartered
1/2 beetroot, cubed
50g feta cheese for sprinkling
Apple cider vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Place the sweet potato and green beans in a small pan and bring to a gentle boil for about 7 min. In the meantime wash your leaves and spread out in a large bowl – salads need space so that you can decorate and dress properly. Place the wakame seaweed into a bowl and add lukewarm water. Leave until wilted and soft. Add the fig pieces into a pan and fry gently with olive oil until softened. When beans and sweet potato has cooked, cool it down slightly then add to the salad leaves followed by the dressing. Make sure the oil and the vinegar (or whatever dressing you prefer) is thoroughly mixed so that all ingredients are coated. Follow on with the beetroot, seaweed, figs and feta. It is a wonderful combo which