As a Holistic Nutritionist, let me tell you: It’s time to forget the quick fixes and revert to the following tried and true, strategies. While they may sound basic, don’t underestimate them. They have the power to take you from stress to success:
1. CHOOSE FOOD THAT NOURISHES YOU
Food can be your most powerful partner or draining enemy. Remember to eat breakfast, don’t skip meals and be prepared with the right foods throughout the day.This will help to maintain your mood, support your cognition and ultimately boost your performance.
Try including these brain-boosting foods: Avocado, boiled eggs, walnuts, chickpeas, blueberries, fatty fish, broccoli and dark leafy greens.
2. GET SUFFICIENT Z’S EACH NIGHT
When you are stressed, getting enough sleep may seem un-achievable or impossible, but it’s critical you make this a priority, and here’s why: When you are poorly rested, not only will your body’s basic functions (e.g. digestion) not work at their optimum, but you also won’t function at your best mentally or physically.
Start by creating and commiting to a consistent bedtime routine (go to sleep and wake up at the same time). Also quit useless screen time and avoid stimulants close to your bedtime.
3. GULP THE H2O
Forget about caffeine and alcohol, they are contributing to your stressed-out self. I’m not telling you to eliminate them altogether, but make sure your not overdoing it when your under the pump. Most importantly make sure your drinking enough water. Dehydration = poor body function = more stress.
Aim for 2.5L of water a day. If you forget to drink water, buy a reusable drink bottle and take it everywhere with you. Set reminders on your phone to drink water and pimp your water with citrus, mint, berries and herbal teas to make it more appealing to drink.
4. MOVE YOUR BODY DAILY
Exercising doesn’t mean you have to become a gym junkie. Getting outside daily, breathing the fresh air, soaking up the vitamin D and getting your heart rate up will rid the stagnant energy, and boost blood flow. This will help your focus, mood, sleep and mental clarity.
Schedule a power walk around the block with a mate from the office daily. Or, book out a meeting room for a 20 min Youtube yoga session at lunch. Or, dip into the local pool for some low impact swimming or aqua jogging.
5. COME BACK TO YOUR BREATH
Your breath can be a great tool to press a pause on the stress-haze you’re feeling and reset your mindset. Simply bringing your focus to your breath can calm an overactive mind.
Commit to at least a few minutes a day to help control your stress, stay grounded, maintain motivation and be less reactive. This may even be in the form of a few one minute sessions throughout the day, or one longer one at the start of your day. Download a meditation app, set a reminder and schedule it in your calendar.
In sum, too much stress brings on fatigue, poor energy, mood swings and headaches. By staying away from quick fixes and following these practical and achievable strategies, you can consciously choose to transform your feelings of stress into success, each and every day.
Start implementing and stop feeling unproductive, irritable, overwhelmed or time poor!