I think most will agree it’s been a crazy week. So how do we deal with events we cannot control? I'm guilty of resorting to wine and Thai food, which, despite ordering gluten free noodles, just makes me feel worse. But, there is a better way.
Putting recent news events aside, stress is a major health issue that effects not just our psyche but also our bodies.
When you’re faced with a stressor, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode and releases a hormone called cortisol. In short, cortisol allows your muscles to use all your available energy to combat the stressor.
This actually a good thing, except for the fact that our modern, fast-paced, go go go lifestyle has us pumping cortisol far too regularly, if not all of the time, and this can wreak havoc on our health. From anxiety and trouble sleeping, to overeating and weight gain, digestive issues, fertility problems and premature ageing…stress can really take its toll, to say the least.
What can we do? The stressors will always be there and are often out of our control, but we can learn to manage them in a way that will minimize the effects on your body. A few tips:
Eat healthy, low glycemic foods (i.e. less sugar and refined carbs), limie alcohol and caffeine, increase your fiber intake through whole plant foods and getting adequate omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil, chia seeds, flax or eggs. We naturally gravitate towards less nutritious "comfort" foods when we're stressed, but trust me, they do not help.
Try to move every day, even if you just do a few push-ups, stretch or take a walk. Get your blood circulating and blow of some steam. The endorphins you release during exercise will also help boost your mood.
Take some time to breathe and add calming rituals to your daily routine.
CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE.
Practice gratitude and focus on the good so hopefully stressful situations will feel like less of big deal.
Rest and take time to recover from stressful events. Lack of sleep is also a major stressor, as it makes you less alert, more irritable and more likely to overeat during the day. If you're having trouble sleeping, try taking a magnesium supplement, like Natural Calm, before bed.
GO ON A MEDIA DETOX.
If watching the news makes your blood boil, turn it off. Try something lighthearted and comforting, like Sex and City reruns—nothing soothes the soul like a Carrie/Big reunion.