Let’s talk about the impact of stress on your body, starting off with your memory.
If you think that your memory is not what it used to be, it could be because of the high cortisol levels that are released when we experience stress.
When we are under stress, cortisol and adrenaline are released by our body to help us cope with the attack.
In our modern-day lives, we don't have the physical attacks so much anymore. (the only tiger I have is the one that hangs out on my son's bed)
Today it is more about the emotional and mental strain of modern-day living.
When you are exposed to stress you could find yourself forgetting where you put your keys or what's on the shopping list. My best is forgetting the shopping list and then trying to remember what's on it when I do the shopping - FAIL
You may find that you begin to suffer from headaches and this again is because of the cortisol and adrenaline that is rushing through your bloodstream.
Next up, when we are regularly stressed then our heart is put under pressure.
With regular exposure to stress, our risk of stroke increases. And studies have found that stress increases our bad (LDL) cholesterol.
Have you noticed that your skin can sometimes go completely haywire when you’re under stress? and you get severe breakout?
This again is the cortisol and adrenaline rushing around your body.
So what can you do about managing your stress?
There's a saying that goes he who half breathes, half lives.
Here is a technique called block breathing.
It doesn’t matter what you do whether you choose to play in the garden with your children, go to the beach or play in the park.
For me, I love to choose 3 songs and just dance in the kitchen.
These are my favourites -
Moving helps to reduce the cortisone and adrenaline levels in your bloodstream.
Do Something For Yourself
And another way is to take a few moments each day to do something for yourself.
It could be as simple as enjoying a cup of tea in complete silence or having an Epsom Bath (or if you have water restrictions - a foot bath).
What do you do to manage your stress?
Come over and join me and others in my Facebook Group - Being Healthy Made Simple.
There are lots of resources and a community of women who all want to get and be healthy in the simplest way possible.
I can't wait to meet you!
How would you like to start your day?
Do you wake up with a groan and a list of things to do that is longer than your arm? Do you wish for another 15 minutes under the duvet?
Here's a checklist to create magical mornings so that you are ready and in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day...
Don't think of these as chores that you should do. Consider them acts of selfcare to look after yourself so that you know that your health and wellness is important. Afterall, if you are not well then all is not well for your family.
1) Drink Water - Hydrate
When you wake in the morning the best thing to give your body is a drink of water. Your body has been working while you sleep and it is dehyrated.
Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to wake you up. It flushes toxins from your body and helps your joints and muscles to move more smoothly.
2. Focus on Your Breathing - Meditate
By focusing on your breathing you soothe your nerves and reduce stress.
Deep breathing balances your nervous system. Meditation can help support your immune system and fend off illness.
Get in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and inhale slowly through your nose. Hold the breath for a pause and then exhale it through your mouth again slowly.
Download this meditation & breathing audio
3. Motion creates emotion.
This is because endorphins are released by the brain when we move. So when you engage in movement those chemicals are released and you begin to feel good.
Try this speedy workout or flow with these Yoga poses.
4. The Gift of Gratitude
When you take some time to appreciate all that you have and all that you are able to do then your focus turns to abundance.
When you take for granted all the good that is in your life you begin to think that you are lacking.
And what you think becomes.
By taking time to write down what you are appreciative of, you become aware of how much you have. That awareness creates an outlook of abundance. And that in turn brings more of what we appreciate into our lives.
Take time to write down 3 things that you have in your life that you are grateful for.
Would you like to get your free guide to easy meditation? Click the button below to receive your guide.
A few years ago, well into my nutrition journey, I discovered a book by Liz Lipski called Digestive Wellness.
It was an eye-opener.
The crux of the matter is that there's more and more evidence showing that whatever happens in the digestive system is not staying in the digestive system.
The imbalances in the digestive system are having an impact on the rest of our body .
Symptoms and diseases that we would never think could be related to the state of our digestive system are linked. For example eczema, infertility, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, migraines.
The word Diet comes from the Greek word Diata. This means our manner of living.
So how did the meaning of diet gets so messed up in recent years? To now mean - restriction, guilt, deprivation and weight loss?
If diet means way of life then it's not just about food, is it ?
It's about everything.
The food we choose to eat. What we're thinking. How we are moving. The TV programs and radio shows we listen to and watch .
Maybe it is because we usually change our food when we go on diet that diet now means a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves either to lose weight or for medical reasons . It also means the kinds of food that a person or animal or community habitually eats.
I don't really want to use the terms good or bad diet so I'll go with healthy vs unhealthy .
I think we can agree that a healthy diet in terms of food would be made up of these parts .
Who foods that are home cooked. Food that doesn't contain artificial colours or flavours. Food that has healthy fats. Food with no refined sugars. Food that has fibre.
And what would a healthy diet in terms of how you're living look like?
Getting back to the food part , which is where my passion lies , I think the that what's important is to find a way of eating that supports your health .
That works for you and your family.
That supports the wellness of your digestive system.
Do you agree that if there is stuff going on in your tummy like bloating, wind, constipation, cramps, heartburn, runny tummy then you don't feel your best?
More and more studies are showing that the digestive system has an impact on the rest of our body . Symptoms and diseases that we would never think are related to our digestive system are in fact now showing up as related.
So what is a girl to do?
I think that a conscious awareness of what you're choosing to feed yourself is the first step.
Once you know what you're regularly eating with your family and during the day then you can make small changes. Changes that you can adopt for the long term.
So your first step is to complete a food diary.
This Isn't just what you pop in your mouth. Make a note of symptoms you may feel or have afterwards. Take notice if your energy drops or your mood changes and write it down.
See if you can match specific foods to the way you feel mentally and physically .
Complete this over 10 to 14 days.
I'd love to help you examine your food log at the end.
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If you know anyone who needs to improve their wellness please feel free to share this with them.
As the madness of family and festivities draws ever closer, this is just a short note to help you keep it together.
Most important -
1) GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Everything is better, more manageable and happier when you have enough sleep.
If you're going to bed later than usual try and catch 30 minutes between 1 - 3pm.
Because that is when your body naturally wants to take a nap. Your body is releasing melatonin during this time so take advantage and have that quick nap.
30 minutes will make all the difference.
2) Increase Your Supplements
Because stress can affect your immune system.
The last thing that you want to have is a cold and sniffly nose when you're supposed to be having a fun, happy, family time.
Check out these articles about what to put in your tablet box.
3)Take a deep breath
We tend to breathe shallowly.
So deep breaths have an amazing affect on your stress response.
This is because the Vagus nerve runs through your diaphragm and is turned on by every deep breath.
Take 5 deep breaths and see how you feel.
Breathe in through your nose for 6 counts and out through your mouth for 5 counts.
It's a massive tension reliever.
4) Become More Aware - some call it mindful.
It's simply appreciating and cherishing the small things.
Like, the colour of the trees, the way the branches move in a breeze.
The sound of your children's chatter and laughter,
The early morning tweeting and chirping of the birds. Listen to the different chirps.
Smile at the driver next to you, even wave!
It'll release any tension and you'll feel happier.
Being in the moment helps you to manage stress by accepting circumstances.
5) Get out into the fresh air
Go for a walk in your garden or on to the roads of your suburb.
If you have a park nearby then bundle the kids into the car or onto their bicycles and walk around the park.
The fresh air and change of scenery will balance things out.
In short, take time to look after yourself.
Everything and Everybody else Will Be Fine.