by Dr. Lisa Knapper ND
We all have busy lives, and sometimes the pressures of everyday life sneak up on you, zapping your energy and leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It seems we are all bombarded with more responsibilities, more pressure (from ourselves and outsiders) and have busier schedules to maintain. And don’t get me started on the fact that we are constantly connected to technology. No wonder we have forgotten how to relax!
Unfortunately for us, all this stress is causing havoc on our bodies. How is this happening?
There are many different chemical and hormonal players involved in our stress response. When they are in balance the body is able to process and deal with a stressful event, and then recover from it. In today’s world, we are constantly under stress, leading the body to release these hormones constantly. Over time our bodies struggle to keep up with the demands of balancing everyday stress, and this can eventually lead to burnout.
So what can we do to stay balanced? There will always be a degree of stress in our lives, but there are some easy things we can do to help. Here are 5 tips to help you kick stress in the butt!
- Keep your nutrition on point. This is the biggest favour you can do for yourself! Feed your body top-notch fuel to help bust through stressful times. Choose clean proteins (quinoa, organic lean animal protein, lentils and beans), lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains (such as brown rice and oats), and healthy fats like avocado. Ditch those energy zapping processed foods, you know the ones where you can’t pronounce any of the ingredients? Yes, those ones!
- Do a stress “detox”. Take stock of the stressors in your life and start removing the ones that you have control over. Using a daily stress diary can often be useful for this.
- Remind your body how to fully relax. Try different tools until you find what works for you (i.e. acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, walking, massage, reflexology, stretching, reiki). Once you find something that allows you to completely relax, do it and do it often.
- Adopt some type of Meditation practice. Many people find the easiest way to start is with guided meditations. An excellent resource is the website headspace.com, they even have an App you can download.
- Disconnect from technology for at least 15 minutes a day. It’s ok to not respond to that text message right away 😉
Learning new habits doesn’t happen over night. I suggest that you start out by picking one of these suggestions and implementing it until it becomes a habit. We can’t always change the stressors in our life, but overtime we can change the way we respond to them.