Stress is inevitable in our daily lives, so investing in your mental health has to be a priority. Stress becomes detrimental when it starts to seriously impact your overall physical and mental well-being.
Learning to make stress work for you instead of against you does takes time, but fortunately can be done. In taking small manageable steps to a stress management lifestyle, you and your family can work to being psychologically and physically fit.
Diet: Focus on quality nutrition that builds up your stress resistance
• Provide your body with real energy from nutrient-dense foods that are plentiful in proteins, vitamins, minerals and essential fats
• Try to eliminate caffeine, sugar, white flours, refined grains, processed foods, and alcohol as much as possible from your diet as these foods stimulate stress levels
• Take time to eat your foods slowly and consciously as the digestive system shuts down during times of stress
Exercise: Regular exercise will allow your body to become more equipped at handling stress overtime
• Try to allow yourself at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise every day
• Exercise promotes good circulation and detoxification by supplying oxygen to tight muscles and devitalized organs
• Exercise relieves stress by using up your excess cortisol (your stress hormone)
• Since exercise is a positive form of stress of the body, when you exercise regularly, the body becomes adept at handling stress (both mental and physical)
Relaxing: Make down-time mandatory for you during the week so you can re-energize completely
• Consciously relax your muscles individually from head to toe, twice a day
• Take therapeutic baths, adding in a handful of natural relaxing agents: lavender, chamomile, valerian, hops or burdock
• You can also add essential oils of lemon, peppermint, rosemary or lavender to your baths
• Make an effort to find laughter during the day and do small things to increase your enjoyment
Natural Remedies: Resupply your body with essential minerals and nutrients that decline when your stress levels rise
• Replenish your B vitamins with a vitamin B complex as your body uses up this vitamin when under stress
• Vitamin C supports proper adrenal function and can help with stress
• Consider a magnesium supplement, as magnesium is lost during stressful times and helps to improve sleep quality
• Explore adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola, ashwaganda, Siberian ginseng, and relora for they help with increasing your body’s tolerance to stress
Goodness Me! Natural Food Market. Natural Approaches to Stress Management [brochure]. Hamilton, ON: Goodness Me Natural Food Market.