Seven Strategies to Reduce Stress
1. Avoid information overload A lot of us spend far too many hours on the computer, researching, searching for all available information and updates. However, this can often worsen our stress levels and increase our concerns about the future. Try to set some boundaries to a maximum of 30 minutes a day of COVID19 researching/news. Take a breath, we can only do what we can right now.
2. Get enough sleep When the body is under chronic stress levels, you are constantly in fight or flight mode. Essentially your body thinks it could be in perpetual danger and shouldn’t be sleeping. This is often noticed with racing thoughts and an inability to wind down and clear the mind before sleeping.
3. Eat healthy and hydrate Our diet definitely modulates our immune system and through nutrition we have the ability to efficiently reduce the risk of infections. Reducing intake of simple sugars, dairy products, vegetable oils, alcohol and refined and processed products. Increasing our nutrient dense foods by consuming a large serving of vegetables and fruits, wholegrains, greens, healthy oils, bone broth, and organic protein sources (plant and animal). Staying hydrated and drinking filtered quality water – between 2 – 2.5 L. 4. Movement/exercise When we are stressed, it affects our brain and neurotransmitter function, ultimately affecting how the rest of our body feels. Exercise releases endorphins such as serotonin that not only make you happy and feel good but also reduce stress and improve sleep. In addition to that, moderate intensity activity elevates T-cell cells and natural killer cell production, increasing circulating white blood cells and improving immune function.
5. Deep breathing/meditation Meditation, yoga and deep breathing relaxation techniques are proven to be effective in shifting from sympathetic nervous system response to parasympathetic. Take a deep breath every time you feel fear, anxiety or panic surface. Hold the breath while counting to 3 and then let go with an audible humming sound. Extend your out breath while counting to 7. You will see that each breath helps to shift the stress response and bring you back into balance.
6. Get outside in the sunshine Exposure to sunlight improves sleep, stress response, depression and immunity! Try to get outside, even if it’s only 10 minutes several times per day. 7. Vagus nerve stimulation Our parasympathetic nervous system or "rest and digest" is largely operated by our vagus nerve allows us to relax and remover. There are various ways to activate the vagus nerve including: cold showers, singing, humming and chanting, yoga, deep breathing exercises, laughter, acupuncture.
With much love