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Feeling overworked or stressed out?!

 

No-­one is a stranger to stress. A little stress is healthy; it challenges you & makes you stronger. Being overwhelmed can  trigger a flight or fight response, putting the body into stress. The heart &/or breathing rate may increase, sweat production may increase, a feeling of no longer being able to cope may occur.

Stress without adequate recovery can substantially affect your energy levels, resulting in significant fatigue. If this situation is not addressed, feeling tired & stressed may become your ‘normal’ day to day existence. Your brain is the first organ that senses stress. It responds by sending messages to the adrenal glands which release cortisol to help you deal with the stress. When stress becomes chronic, the brain may seek to self regulate itself by toning down these signals as a protective mechanism. This can result in the sort of low energy commonly seen in chronic fatigue. Stress is known to be an underlying factor behind many conditions, with severe fatigue being one of the most debilitating.

Twenty years ago…I was there…I couldn’t make a flight of stairs. I was studying full time, working full time, going to the gym twice a day to escape a sh*t relationship where I was walking on eggshells in my own home. I was not happy & felt obligated to be where I was in every way…& I was constantly getting sick. So, I took myself off to a naturopath who did some tests & supported me with herbs, nutrients & guided me back to health. I took back control of my lifestyle choices…slowed down, changed my outlook & took on a new approach to exercise. It didn’t happen overnight…it took a good 6 months to bring my body back into balance. The tools I learnt from my studies which were reinforced by my naturopath, are with me always & what I share with you today. I still consciously need to ‘pull on the reins’ every now & then…but hey….we’re all human!

In the long run prolonged stress can also put extra load onto the heart, blood vessels, adrenals & immune system. There are many conditions which can be linked to stress: angina, asthma, cancer, common cold, depression, diabetes type 2, headaches, hypertension, IBS, fertility concerns, ulcers to name but a few.

Many people develop a negative way to cope with stress. This may be in the form of drug dependence (eg alcohol, cigarettes, illicit drugs), over eating, emotional outbursts, feelings of helplessness, overspending or excessive behaviour. Below are some healthier ways you can let go of those feelings of overwhelm & gain some energy & control back.

Here’s some new ways to bring some balance into your life:

Lifestyle:

  • Learn meditation, yoga, or breathing techniques to calm the mind & body, & to promote a positive mind state.
  • Exercise regularly to lose tension, worries & fatigue. Exercise builds a stronger body, & to function for efficiently.
  • Alcohol actually puts chemical stress on the body, giving the opposite to what most people think. Relying on alcohol to relax is not good for stress or your overall health – reduce or eliminate.
  • Set priorities since you can only accomplish so much in a day. Organise what needs to be done first & delegate where possible.
  • Don’t be a perfectionist! Strive for the best you can do.  😉
  • Communicate well with others, this includes being a good listener. This will help you understand others the first time & put less stress on relationships.
  • Try a relaxing bath once a week with Epsom Salts and a few drops of lavender essential oil – let the stress melt away.
  • Treat yourself & take time out for yourself by having regular massage – your body will thank you for it!

 

Diet:

  • Eliminate or decrease coffee consumption. Coffee stimulates the body putting it into stress by producing adrenaline, which enhances a vicious stress cycle. Try my “Bliss” or “Balance-Me” herbal tisane blends.
  • Decrease refined carbohydrates (sugar & white flour) since it can contribute to problems with blood sugar fluctuations. Have a little protein with every meal – nuts/seeds, meats, avocado, legumes, beans, eggs etc.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits & veggies, eating ‘live’ foods will make you feel more alive. Try some cold pressed juices such as apples, carrots, celery, kiwi fruit, watercress, spinach.
  • Watch what you eat & if there are any sensitivities to certain foods. This may be placing unnecessary stress & inflammation on your body.
  • Try to eat in a relaxed atmosphere, not in a rushed & noisy environment.

 

Stress can be hard to deal with some times, & these are some simple ways that you can help to improve your situation.

Please call me or book an appointment here if you’d like further professional support. 

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