If you weren't stressed before, 2020 likely brought it all out! Not to mention being stuck at home in a lockdown means you have more time to sit with your stress than usual. Stress can be difficult to manage, but it's absolutely critical to find strategies that work for you to keep it at minimum. Luckily, there are many holistic strategies you can implement to reduce your stress before it becomes harmful to your health. Below are some simple actions you can take to help manage your everyday stressors before they balloon into an all-out stress spiral:
While exercise has obvious physical benefits, it also has amazing mental benefits. Exercise helps decrease tension, elevate mood, improve sleep, and boost self-esteem. Take a yoga class, go on run, or simply take the stairs instead of the elevator. Just five minutes of movement has been shown to have stress-reducing effects.
Regular meditation has an effect on the way you respond to stress. When you're stressed, your body releases the hormone, cortisol. Meditation lowers the levels of cortisol and inflammation in the body, thus reducing the stress. For a quick and easy stress relief, try this Belly Breathing technique.
Sip Some Tea
The simple act of sipping a warm beverage is relaxing in itself, but the contents found inside have been shown to have stress-reducing abilities. Herbal teas, such as lavender and chamomile have calming properties. Other great options include peppermint, lemon balm, valerian, turmeric and passionflower.
Do More of What Brings you Joy
Now I know you probably can't quit your job and travel the world, but you can be more intentional about scheduling things that make you happy into your day. Doing small things to lift your mood creates an upward spiral of positivity, which leads to stress resilience. Call a friend, go for a walk or hike, take a bubble bath, read a book, bake a (healthy) dessert, watch a Christmas movie, or play with your dog. Find whatever it is you enjoy doing and do more of it!
Support your Adrenals
Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing and releasing hormones, such as the stress hormone cortisol. A diet low in caffeine, processed foods & sugar, and high in whole, nutrient dense foods, such as organic fruits & vegetables, healthy fats and lean meats will give your adrenals the support they need to fight stress. Additionally, proper supplementation can be very beneficial (recommendations found below).
CALM by Systemic Formulas
Designed to help promote a feeling of calmness and relaxation during times of stress. CALM provides nutrients that play a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine with L-Dopa and SAMe. Supports a positive mood and a sense of tranquility.