Updated: Apr 24, 2022
Seems able and thriving!!!!
Difficulty concentrating and thinking
Lack of enthusiasm
Lack of motivation
Difficulty switching off and sleeping
Easily emotional and reactive
Stress is the biggest anti-nutrient known to us as humans as we see a range of issues such as depression, anxiety and cardiovascular disease to IBS, type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue and many more linked to stress.
The ‘stress response’ prepares us to ‘fight or take flight’ when faced with a (real or perceived) threatening situation.
Today this is a different type of threat: financial worries, hectic schedules, impossible deadlines, chronic pain, health anxieties, relationship difficulties and more.
We are adults and we have adult problems 🙋♂️
Check in on this tick-list and see if any apply?
*adapted from Nutri Advanced
If you tick 3 or more - then stress is more than likely effecting you.
The health effects may be subtle to begin with (symptoms such as irritability, headaches and low energy) but if left untouched these can lead to ‘burnout’.
PRACTICAL HABITS TO CHANGE AND HELP COPE WITH STRESSORS
Reduce caffeine & alcohol consumption
Reduce your intake of refined sugary foods & drinks
Follow a blood sugar balance diet using protein and low glycemic whole food carbohydrates and essential healthy fats.
Increase intake of magnesium-rich foods
Include stress-busting superfoods in your diet (read on for more details)
Magnesium-rich & calming superfoods:
seaweeds and chlorella
green leafy veggies
chickpeas and black beans
Key stress supplements:
Vital for helping the body to deal with stress and yet lacking in a typical Western diet; mental & physical stress both increase magnesium elimination from the body, which can lead to a poorly functioning stress response.
Maintaining optimal zinc helps to protect against stress.
Has a vital role to play in a balanced stress response and helps to regulate the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands.
Often nicknamed ‘anti-stress’ nutrients for their powerful ability to balance mood and calm the nervous system, B vitamins are crucial for a balanced stress response.
Adaptogens Rhodiola rosea, Ashwagandha, Asian Ginseng & Cordyceps
L-Theanine A naturally occurring amino acid that is found in tea leaves.
✓ Milk Proteins Has been studied for its relaxing properties.
Identify any sources of stress and take steps to reduce these wherever you can.
Schedule in time to relax, just like you would pencil in any other appointment. Do 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation daily (Apps like Headspace or Calm are great for this).
Incorporate regular gentle exercise into your week - swimming, walking, jogging, yoga and pilates are all highly beneficial.
Pay particular attention to sleep hygiene, for example restrict screen time before bed (read on for more suggestions).
Eating to help sleep
Scrambled eggs & avocado on wholegrain toast
Carrot & lentil soup with oatcakes & cheese
Grilled salmon, roasted vegetables, leafy greens, pine nuts & quinoa
Oatcakes topped with nut butter & sliced banana (top sleepy snack!)
Chopped fruit, live yoghurt, nuts, seeds & ground cinnamon
Smoothie made with milk, plain yoghurt, frozen berries, banana, raw cacao powder & ground flaxseeds
Routine – Develop a regular pattern to train your body to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This will help to set your body’s internal clock.
Establish a pre-sleep routine – Develop helpful sleep rituals to remind your body it is time to sleep. For example a warm bath (add a couple of drops of lavender), breathing exercises, reading and relaxation.
Create a sleep-inducing bedroom environment – Your bedroom should be quiet,dark, comfy, not too hot or cold and free from smartphones and tablets, work documents and clutter. • Avoid daytime naps – If you must nap during the day, make it less than an hour and before 4pm.
Get up & try again – If you can’t sleep after 20 mins, get up and do something quiet and restful, such as reading in dim light, then try again.
Overall you must be compassionate and know that when things are hard, it's usually because they are hard... find help if you're struggling to cope.
Speaking to others and making time for yourself is a great way to get through those difficult times. You also however, need to take action and make changes.
Doing 'nothing' is a sure fire way to never have a chance of succeeding.