It was 5:15 a.m. one morning that I got a message from my maid.
She was man down with a tummy bug and would not be coming to work.
We rely so much on our maids, don't we?
They really are an important part of our families.
So she wasn't coming to work. It's school holidays. I'm thinking, "Oh crap! Not just one child but now two to sort out."
Anyway, snacks got packed. Toys and entertainment packed. Blankie for naptime packed.
And we all went to work.
But in between receiving the message and getting to work I got so stressed out. My whole plan and morning-time routine was now out of whack .
And along came my 6 year old who said , “Mom. It's Ok to be stressed. It's ok but you need to calm down and breathe. Breathe, Mom.”
Don't you just love that what you say to them comes right back at you at the most appropriate time?
I breathed and reached for Relicalm.
It's like a large cup of tea - it has the same ingredient as tea l-theanine - which helps to calm you. Now you know why that cup of tea works so well! Relicalm also promises 5 hours of calm . Just what I needed!
And that is the kind of stress that we all dealing with - not the fight or flight - that is part of our evolution.
There was no fight for me and no physical escape route that I needed to take.
It was all mental but our bodies release chemicals for the physical fight or flight. Snce we're not in a situation that requires physicality those stress chemicals start to cause havoc on our body’s systems.
Let's take a look at the impact of stress on our body -
Memory - Long term exposure to cortisol is linked to shrinkage of the memory part of your brain. A Finnish study found that patients with persistently high cortisol levels were 3x as likely to develop Alzheimer's.
Head - Studies have shown that an increase in the stress hormone adrenaline can cause migraines. People who have tension headaches tend to translate their stress to muscle contractions.
Heart - reggular feelings of being highly stressed can lead to an increased risk of a fatal stroke. High cortisol levels are more likely to have high levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol. Long term stress is a factor leading to raised blood pressure.
Skin - skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis can worsen when you are stressed.
Digestion - emotions and the gut are closely linked. Think of butterflies in your tummy. But also runny tummy, a sore tummy, indigestion and heartburn .
Immune system - Ongoing stress can deplete the body's resources to fight infection . Studies have shown that those under long-term stress have lower white blood cells - the guys that fight the bacteria and viruses that cause illness.
I know that when I was diagnosed with pneumonia in August ‘17 it was a result of long-term stress. My immune system was at rock bottom .
Mood - stress can leave you unable to concentrate, inefficient and accident prone. The ongoing release of cortisol and adrenaline - the stress hormones - disrupt levels of the feel good chemical - serotonin . This may lead to depression.
So what's a girl to do? -
1) Breathe! Really.
When you're under stress your breathing is rapid and shallow. Breathe through your nose for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6.
Do this 5 times .
He who half breathes, half-lives.
2) Get Moving
Chase your children in the garden, what about a game of touch rugby? Turn up the radio and dance! Go for a walk around your complex or on the road .
3) Create a list of activities and people who bring you Joy
Make time to do something that makes your heart sing .
I love crocheting and I am making a blanket for our king size bed!
P.S. Stress suppresses your body's production of testosterone which helps control abdominal fat.
Book an initial call at no cost and let's identify your top 3 current challenges.
P.S.S - You can't be a great mum, wife, employee and friend if your stressed out and struggling with your health....
Making changes to get better your health does not have to be overwhelming.
Start with these small steps. You can adjust from here to achieve long lasting changes. When I work with clients my emphasis is always to make the changes simple.
Take time to breath – really!
Breathe through your nose for 5 counts and out for 6. Repeat 5 times. You'll find it calms the mind.
Do your food shopping online or stick religiously to a shopping list.
This way you avoid those impulse purchases.
Eat together as a family.
Studies have shown that those who do have better relationships.
Plant a seedling( or seeds if you have the patience!)
Watch it grow. Nothing difficult. Carrots in a pot, Basil or Oregano on the window sill or a hanging basket of strawberries!
Smile! Laugh. Get your silly on.
What's the point in being on this planet if not to enjoy, share the moment and SMILE.
Eat slowly and chew properly.
The more you chew the better your digestive system will function. Less chewing puts more strain on the whole digestive process.
Starting in your stomach.
Start your day with Super Foods.
Berries, ground flaxseed, cooked greens like spinach, kale, cucumber, nut butters. Sadly, cereal is not going to help you on your road to good health!
Check your posture.
By tilting your hips forward you'll put less strain on your back.
When you're sitting at your desk make a conscious effort to drop your chin. It tends to poke out towards your computer screen. This results in a stiff neck.
(thanks, to my mom for these wise words!)
Detox your fridge.
Keep nourishing foods within in easy reach.
A little bit of preparation goes a long way. Carrot sticks, cucumber sticks. A tub of hummus and cottage cheese. Plain yoghurt to dip apple or pear slices into.
And give your fridge a steam to kill any bacteria lurking about.
Add some movement to your day.
Have you got time for one song? Your favourite song. Or just turn up the radio and grab your child for a manic 3 minutes of movement.
You first then others.
If you're not well then how can you look after others?
Choose wholesome snacks.
Ditch the biscuits and snack bars. Sugar is not your friend. Choose nuts, biltong, cheese, vegetable sticks.
Drink more water.
Aim for 8 glasses per day. For every cup of tea or coffee have a glass of water.
Plan your meals.
It can make your life so much easier.
If you'd like to see the meal plan I have then drop me an email.
Start small, take little steps and you will feel motivated and goals will be achievable.
How about choosing 3 baby steps?
Let me know which ones you've chosen.
I'll check in during the coming days to find out how it's going for you...
To your baby steps this week...