We all have different thresholds to stress so it is important that we know our own limits and are able to spot the signs when we are ‘on the edge’.
The body is designed to handle short bursts of stress but long term stress can be damaging and difficult to manage. Feelings of being ‘burnt-out’ and the inability to cope with our normal daily routines are becoming increasingly common especially amongst women who are perfectionists and place way too much pressure on themselves.
Feeling stressed, tired but wired is becoming the norm. Here are some tips to help:
- Caffeine can overstimulate the production of stress hormones and cause heart palpitations. Reduce coffee and black tea and replace with light green tea that contains much less caffeine. Green tea is full of potent antioxidants proven to lower blood pressure and counteract free radicals.
- Reduce sugary snacks, cakes and biscuits to avoid overstimulating the adrenal glands
- Vitamin C is helpful to combat stress and can be found in rose hips, broccoli, salad greens, bell peppers, parsley, kiwi fruit, strawberries and citrus fruit.
- B vitamins are used up in greater amounts during periods of stress so consider supplementing with a daily B-complex.
- Fats are used by the body to produce adrenal hormones. Beneficial fats can be found in avocados, coconut oil, butter, flax seed, hemp seed oil and oily fish such as herring, mackerel and sardines.
- The herb Withania somnifera, also known as Ashwaganda, builds up core energy, and as the name describes, improves sleep.
- Include the Peruvian root Maca in smoothies. It is very supportive in times of stress.
- St Johns Wort is an ‘all round’ nerve tonic and is not just for lowered mood and depression.
- Sleep is a great healer and improves our coping mechanisms. Establish a routine by going to bed and getting up at the same time. Aim for 8 hours.
- The use of flower remedies is an excellent way to keep stress and emotions balanced and gives the opportunity of dealing with stress in other ways than those in which we have conditioned ourselves to react. Bach’s Recue Remedy is a good combination or the Australian Bush Flower combination Emergency Essence.
- Meditation is an excellent way to quieten the mind. Play a guided meditation before sleeping.
- Use regular exercise to work stress out of the body.
- It's important to take time out for yourself - whether that be as simple as getting out of the office for some fresh air on your lunch break, or booking a trip away one weekend, making time for you crucial.